Mastering jBPM6
Design, build, and deploy business process-centric
applications using the cutting-edge jBPM
technology stack
Simone Fiorini
Arun V Gopalakrishnan
Mastering jBPM6
Copyright © 2015 Packt Publishing
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval
system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written
permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embedded in
critical articles or reviews.
Every effort has been made in the preparation of this book to ensure the accuracy
of the information presented. However, the information contained in this book is
sold without warranty, either express or implied. Neither the authors, nor Packt
Publishing, and its dealers and distributors will be held liable for any damages
caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by this book.
Packt Publishing has endeavored to provide trademark information about all of the
companies and products mentioned in this book by the appropriate use of capitals.
However, Packt Publishing cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information.
First published: June 2015
Production reference: 1220615
Published by Packt Publishing Ltd.
Livery Place
35 Livery Street
Birmingham B3 2PB, UK.
ISBN 978-1-78328-957-8
Project Coordinator
Simone Fiorini
Vijay Kushlani
Arun V Gopalakrishnan
Safis Editing
Ruben Andres Ghio
Jerónimo Ginzburg
Federico Weisse
Commissioning Editor
Rukhsana K
Rekha Nair
Valentina D'silva
Jason Monteiro
Acquisition Editor
Vinay Argekar
Production Coordinator
Aparna Bhagat
Content Development Editors
Anand Singh
Sweny M. Sukumaran
Cover Work
Aparna Bhagat
Technical Editor
Tanmayee Patil
Copy Editor
Tani Kothari
About the Authors
Simone Fiorini is a seasoned professional with 20 years of software development
experience, specializing in large-scale software systems, mission critical applications,
and project management in a wide variety of computing environments and
platforms, with a focus on EAI, BPM, and integration-oriented tools. His latest
efforts are focused on an online reservation system for a large Middle East railway
company and a scalable, reactive, financial market data server for a leading Italian
banking group's investment bank.
A graduate of both Università di Parma (earth science) and University of Milan
(engineering of computing systems), Simone resides near Brescia, where he's trying
to grow roses and other fragrant flowers for his wife, Giuliana, and their two sons.
I'd like to thank my wife, Giuliana, and my sons as they support
everything I do any way I do it, my parents, my brothers, and all
the people who made this book possible.
Arun V Gopalakrishnan has more than 9 years of experience in creating
architecture, designing, and developing enterprise applications used in the
domains of BFSI, supply chain management, and telecom businesses.
He graduated as a bachelor of technology in electronics and communications and
holds a master's degree in software systems. Currently, he is playing the role of a
software architect in designing and developing an enterprise middleware platform.
He is well versed in service-oriented, event-driven architectures and has experience
in integrating jBPM with enterprise architecture. He is passionate about learning new
technologies and improving his knowledge base and expertise in JEE, OOAD, SOA,
EDA, expert systems, and distributed computing.
Along with this technical expertise, he enjoys engineering software applications
and is an avid follower, practitioner, and mentor of agile and continuous delivery
models. He believes in tools and is well versed in creating, using, and extending
DevOps tools, such as Eclipse, Maven, Git, Gerrit, Jenkins, Sonar, JIRA, and
MediaWiki, to enhance the efficiency of development teams.
First and foremost, I would like to thank the editors Vinay Argekar,
Sweny Sukumaran, Tanmayee Patil, and Anand Singh for their
immense support and help in getting this book ready for publishing.
They made the process smooth and enjoyable and were patient and
cheerful with those painful follow-ups when I missed deadlines. I
would like to take this opportunity to thank the technical reviewers,
Federico Weisse, Jerónimo Ginzburg, and Ruben Andres Ghio, for
their feedback, which helped shape this book.
Authoring a book with an already tight regular job always calls for
long weeks. Without my supportive family, I could not have taken
yet another step in my career.
My mentors and colleagues were always my source of confidence and
energy. I would like to thank them for the knowledge, experience, and
goodwill that they share with me. It has always been great working
with you.
Sincere gratitude goes to the open source community, particularly
the jBPM community, which has supported me a lot in
understanding technologies and tools. I am grateful for working
with them and hope that their members will find this book useful!
To the Almighty, for surrounding me with these beautiful people
and enjoyable opportunities.
About the Reviewers
Ruben Andres Ghio was born on June 5, 1981, under the zodiac sign of Gemini in
the city of Quilmes, Argentina. When he was 2 years old, he moved to Villa Gesell,
a small city over the sea. This place was his home for almost 11 years. After that, he
returned to Buenos Aires, where he got a high school degree with a specialization
in economics.
At the age of 22, he graduated as a system engineer from the National Technological
University of Buenos Aires.
As a River Plate fan, Ruben has practiced a lot of different sports, but he has always
had special feelings for his two favorites: tennis and soccer, which he still practices.
You can follow him on Twitter at @rubenghio.
Ruben has been working with technology since 2002, starting as a Visual Basic
developer for one of the most important banks in Argentina. After 2.5 years, he
moved to one of the biggest technology companies in the world, where he started
working as a Java developer, and after almost 3 years, he started to focus on his
career as an IT architect, a skill he developed for the next 4 years. Currently, he is
working as a senior IT architect at one of the biggest open source companies in the
world, developing and building modern and innovative projects for government
and private companies across Latin America.
I would like to thank my wife, who always supports me in all the
things I do, suggesting, encouraging, and helping me out.
Jerónimo Ginzburg works at Red Hat as a senior architect in the consulting team.
He has a computer science degree from the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) and
over 15 years of experience in developing Java Enterprise applications. He is a strong
believer in open source and agile software development. Jerónimo joined Red Hat in
2008 and, since then, has helped many Latin American companies adopt Drools and
jBPM. He has co-written several software engineering articles published in refereed
conferences and journals, and he was also the technical reviewer for the book jBPM
Developer Guide, Packt Publishing.
I would like to thank my beautiful wife, Mariana, and my newborn
son, Ramiro, for their love, patience, and support during this revision.
Federico Weisse was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He has over 15 years of
expertise in the IT industry. In his career, he has worked with several technologies
and programming languages, such as C, C++, ASP, and PHP; different relational
databases (Oracle, SQL Server, DB2, and PostgreSQL); platforms (AS400, Unix,
and Linux); and mainframe technologies.
In 2002, he adopted Java/J2EE as his main technology. He has been working with
it since then and has become a specialist in this field. A couple of years later, he got
involved with BPM systems and has been working with JBPM since 2009.
Nowadays, he is a J2EE architect at one of the most important healthcare providers
in Argentina.
Support files, eBooks, discount offers, and more
For support files and downloads related to your book, please visit www.PacktPub.com.
Did you know that Packt offers eBook versions of every book published, with PDF
and ePub files available? You can upgrade to the eBook version at www.PacktPub.com
and as a print book customer, you are entitled to a discount on the eBook copy. Get in
touch with us at service@packtpub.com for more details.
At www.PacktPub.com, you can also read a collection of free technical articles, sign
up for a range of free newsletters and receive exclusive discounts and offers on Packt
books and eBooks.
Do you need instant solutions to your IT questions? PacktLib is Packt's online digital
book library. Here, you can search, access, and read Packt's entire library of books.
Why subscribe?
• Fully searchable across every book published by Packt
• Copy and paste, print, and bookmark content
• On demand and accessible via a web browser
Free access for Packt account holders
If you have an account with Packt at www.PacktPub.com, you can use this to access
PacktLib today and view 9 entirely free books. Simply use your login credentials for
immediate access.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Business Process Modeling – Bridging Business
and Technology
Business process management
Human interaction management
Business activity monitoring
Business process simulation
The business process model and notation
Core elements
Flow Objects
Connecting Objects
Business process management as applied in industry
Supply chain management
Banking and financial services
Design patterns in business process modeling
Parallel split
Simple merge
Exclusive choice
Implicit termination
Deferred choice
Multiple instance without synchronization
Synchronized merge
Arbitrary cycle
Table of Contents
Introducing jBPM
The KIE workbench
Eclipse tooling
Core engine
The knowledge repository
The business logic integration platform
Drools Guvnor
Drools Expert
Drools Fusion
Working together
Process Designer
Operation management
Chapter 2: Building Your First BPM Application
Installing the jBPM tool stack
Customizing the installation
Changing the database vendor
Manually installing the database schema
Creating your first jBPM project
Business Process Modeling
Building and deploying the project
Running your first process
Embedding jBPM in a standalone Java application
Modeling the business process using Eclipse tooling
Creating a jBPM project using Eclipse
Deploying the process programmatically
Writing automated test cases
Change management – updating deployed process definitions
Chapter 3: Working with the Process Designer
Web-based tooling
Process modeling
The Object Library
The process canvas
Properties editor
Problem visualization
The Metadata tab
Data object modeling
Form modeling
Creating a form
Setting the field properties
[ ii ]
Table of Contents
Setting a default value
Inferring field values
Multiple subforms
Process simulation
Process paths
Simulation parameters
Running simulation
Simulation results
Eclipse-based tooling
Importing a project created using web-based tooling
Process modeling
Data object modeling
Form modeling
Process simulation
Saving changes to the knowledge repository
Chapter 4: Operation Management
An overview of the KIE workbench, Git, and Maven
Working with Git
Cloning a remote repository
Making changes and committing
Pushing to the remote repository
New repository
Managing assets – managed repositories
A final note
An overview of the kie-config-cli tool
Connecting (online mode)
Creating an organizational unit
Creating a repository
Defining role-based access control rules
Adding jBPM console users
Adding the repository to an organization
Pushing changes to system.git
More on the system.git repository
KIE deployments
Artifacts and KIE modules
Deployment options
Deployment by example – the Pizza projects
The process definition – pizzadelivery
Deploying pizzas
Git and project configuration
[ iii ]
Table of Contents
Deploying the dependency
Providing artifacts
Adding a KIE module manually
Process and task management applied – the PizzaDelivery process
Starting the Process
User management
Task management
Managing jobs and asynchronous commands' execution
Creating, scheduling, and launching a new Job
Process definition conversion
Process definition versioning and instance upgrading
Default history logs
BAM and Dashbuilder – the pizza maker's performance index
Example projects
Generating audit data – ProcessBAM unit test
Writing the business query
Adding the data provider
Creating a new dashboard page and the KPI panels
Chapter 5: BPMN Constructs
Parameters, variables, and data
Sequence flow
Parallel (AND) gateway
Conditional branching
Exclusive (XOR) gateway
Inclusive (OR) gateway
Event-based gateways
Instantiating gateway
Complex gateway
Start events
None Start event
End events
(None) End event
Terminate End event
[ iv ]
Table of Contents
Boundary events
Signal events
Message events
Timer events
Error events
Signal ID and signal name tips
Signal data mapping
Start Signal event
Intermediate Signal event
Boundary Signal event
End Signal event
Message data mapping
Start Message event
Intermediate Message event
Boundary Message event
End Message event
jBPM throwing message implementation
Start Timer event
Intermediate Timer event
Boundary Timer event
Boundary Error event
Error Start event
Error End event
Intermediate Compensation event
Boundary Compensation event
Compensating activity
Triggering compensations with signals
End Compensation event
Multi-instance compensation
Conditional events
User Task
Script Task
Service Task
Rule Task
Send/Receive Task
Manual Task
Ad hoc (Custom or None) Task
Call Activity Task
Ad hoc subprocess
Multiple instances
Table of Contents
Data objects
Chapter 6: Core Architecture
KieContainer – KIE modules and KieBase(s)
The KIE builder API
Repositories and scanners
RuntimeManager service and the engine
Runtime strategy
Choosing the right strategy
Batch execution
The TaskContext command
Managing transactions
The RuntimeEnvironment class
Runtime Context
Stateless KieSession
The CommandExecutor interface
Event listeners
Human Task service
TaskCommand and UserGroupCallback
Transactions and interceptors
Notification service
The TaskFluent class
Audit and history logs
Custom logger
Persistence and transactions
Local transactions with Bitronix
[ vi ]
Table of Contents
Chapter 7: Customizing and Extending jBPM
Custom process nodes
Workitem and handlers
Life cycle209
Handlers in action
Workitem handler implementation
The PizzaTweet example
Service repository
Direct handler registration
Declarative kmodule.xml handler configuration
Handler configuration file
Handler definition file
Handling input parameters
Returning results to the process
The main project (the KIE module)
Process and task parameter mappings
Handler project (pizzahandlers)
Model project (pizzamodel)
IDE customization
Console test run
Standalone test run
Custom service repository
jBPM identity management
User callback configuration
The DBUserGroupCallbackImpl class
The LDAPUserGroupCallbackImpl class
jBPM serialization
Persisting variables
Configuring a marshalling strategy
Persisting variables
Chapter 8: Integrating jBPM with Enterprise Architecture
Setting the context
Services provided by jBPM
Creating custom workitem handlers
Integrating with JEE
EJB remote interfaces
The EJB local interface
Integrating in SOA and EDA environments
Integrating with REST services
The REST service
The client – REST handler configuration
[ vii ]
Table of Contents
The SOAP WebService
jBPM as a remote service
The JAX-WS service
The remote Java API
The REST client
Client for jBPM JMS service
Chapter 9: jBPM in Production
Scaling the business process modeling facility
Scaling the process runtime
Factors and considerations
Applicability to workbench
Applicability to continuous improvements in processes
Applicability to the process runtime
Securing the access of application assets
Securing the process runtime
Fault tolerance
Exception handling in process definitions
Exception handling for domain-specific processes
Access security specific to human tasks
Audit logging
Appendix A: The Future
Business programming
Convergence of enterprise architectures for real-time and
predictive analytics
Appendix B: jBPM BPMN Constructs Reference
[ viii ]
Table of Contents
Business rule
Multiple instances
Ad hoc
Start events
End events
Catching intermediate events
Throwing intermediate events
Data-based exclusive (XOR)
Event-based gateway
Data objects
[ ix ]
jBPM is a leading open source BPM and workflow platform whose development is
sponsored by Red Hat under Apache Software License (ASL) licensing. The jBPM
product has been around for almost 10 years; its strongest points rely on flexibility,
extensibility, and lightness, and it is a modular, cross-platform pure Java engine that
is BPMN2 compliant.
It features a robust management console and development tools that support
the user during the business process life cycle: development, deployment, and
versioning. It integrates with widely-adopted frameworks and technologies (SOAP,
REST, Spring, Java EE CDI, and OSGi) and provides off-the-shelf support to Git
and Maven.
It fits into different system architectures and can be deployed as a full-fledged
web application or as a service; it can be tightly embedded into a classical desktop
application or loosely integrated into a complex event-driven architecture. In its
default configuration, jBPM can be hosted by the enterprise class application
server Red Hat EAP 6.x or the bleeding-edge Red Hat WildFly 8 server.
Mastering JBPM6 takes you through a practical approach to using and extending
jBPM 6.2. This book provides a detailed jBPM 6.2 overview; it covers the BPM
notation supported by the engine and explains the advanced engine and API
topics focusing, as much as possible, on several working practical examples.
The book presents the user with solutions to common real-time issues like BAM
(which stands for business activity monitoring) and production scenarios.
[ xi ]
What this book covers
Chapter 1, Business Process Modeling – Bridging Business and Technology, gives the user
an overview of the BPM environment, introduces the jBPM world and give insight
to the big picture of business logic integrated platform.
Chapter 2, Building Your First BPM Application, starts by taking the user straight to the
jBPM tool stack by providing the reader with a hands-on product installation and
configuration tutorial, and then, it tackles beginner topics such as business process
modeling and deployment.
Chapter 3, Working with the Process Designer, digs deep into web-based jBPM tools to
illustrate to the user the main jBPM web designer features: user forms, scripting, and
process simulation.
Chapter 4, Operation Management, describes the new jBPM artifacts architecture,
focusing on Maven repositories (modules and deployment), engine auditing and
logging analysis, jobs scheduling, and a full working BAM customization example
(with Dashboard integration).
Chapter 5, BPMN Constructs, illustrates the BPMN2 constructs implemented by jBPM
and provides insights and caveats about their usage by commenting a contextually
ready-to-use source code example.
Chapter 6, Core Architecture, covers all the jBPM modules (for example, human task
service, persistence, auditing, and configuration) by elaborating on how to leverage
engine functionalities with the help of several source code examples.
Chapter 7, Customizing and Extending jBPM, explores engine customization areas
with a practical approach; it provides the user with explanations on how to
customize persistence, human task service, marshalling mechanism and the
work item handler architecture.
Chapter 8, Integrating jBPM with Enterprise Architecture, describes how jBPM can
integrate with external applications through SOAP, REST, or JMS either as a client or
a server. It offers insights on how to leverage its services in a Java EE application.
Chapter 9, jBPM in Production, explores the jBPM system features when dealing with
service availability, scalability, and security; it provides tips and techniques related
to engine performance tuning in production environments.
Appendix A, The Future, briefly details the trends and future of Business
Process Modeling.
Appendix B, jBPM BPMN Constructs Reference, is a quick reference for the BPMN
constructs supported by jBPM.
[ xii ]
What you need for this book
You will need the following software to be installed before running the code examples:
jBPM requires JDK 6 or a higher version. JDK 6 or newer versions can be downloaded
from http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads/index.
html. There are installation instructions on this page as well. To verify that your
installation was successful, run java –version on the command line.
Download jbpm-6.2.0.Final-installer-full.zip from http://sourceforge.
net/projects/jbpm/files/jBPM%206/jbpm-6.2.0.Final/. Just unzip it in a
folder of your choice. The user guide (http://docs.jboss.org/jbpm/v6.2/
userguide/jBPMInstaller.html) includes instructions on how to get started
in a simple and quick manner.
The jBPM setup requires Ant 1.7 or later (http://ant.apache.org/srcdownload.
The additional required software is as follows:
• Git 1.9 or later (http://git-scm.com/downloads)
• Maven 3.2.3 or later (http://maven.apache.org/download.cgi)
The preferred development IDE to run the examples is the Eclipse Kepler distribution,
which can be automatically downloaded and pre-configured with the BPMN
installation process.
Who this book is for
This book is primarily intended for jBPM developers, business analysts, and process
modelers, and, to some extent, for project managers who must be exposed to the
jBPM platform features. The book assumes that you have prior knowledge of
business analysis and modeling, and, of course, Java; basic knowledge of jBPM is
also required.
In this book, you will find a number of styles of text that distinguish between
different kinds of information. Here are some examples of these styles, and an
explanation of their meaning.
Code words in the text are shown as follows: "Specify a role for the users in the
roles.properties file."
[ xiii ]
A block of code is set as follows:
ReleaseId newReleaseId = ks.newReleaseId("com.packt.masterjbpm6",
"pizzadelivery", "1.1-SNAPSHOT");
// then create the container to load the existing module
Results result = ks.updateToVersion (newReleaseId);
When we wish to draw your attention to a particular part of a code block, the
relevant lines or items are set in bold:
<bpmn2:scriptTask id="_2" name="prepare order" scriptFormat="http://
Any command-line input or output is written as follows:
ant install.demo
New terms and important words are shown in bold. Words that you see on the
screen, in menus or dialog boxes for example, appear in the text like this: "Select the
Administration | Data Providers link from the left navigation menu pane."
Warnings or important notes appear in a box like this.
Tips and tricks appear like this.
Reader feedback
Feedback from our readers is always welcome. Let us know what you think about
this book—what you liked or may have disliked. Reader feedback is important for us
to develop titles that you really get the most out of.
To send us general feedback, simply send an e-mail to feedback@packtpub.com,
and mention the book title via the subject of your message.
If there is a topic that you have expertise in and you are interested in either writing
or contributing to a book, see our author guide on www.packtpub.com/authors.
Customer support
Now that you are the proud owner of a Packt book, we have a number of things to
help you to get the most from your purchase.
[ xiv ]
Downloading the example code
You can download the example code files from your account at http://www.
packtpub.com for all the Packt Publishing books you have purchased. If you
purchased this book elsewhere, you can visit http://www.packtpub.com/support
and register to have the files e-mailed directly to you.
Although we have taken every care to ensure the accuracy of our content, mistakes
do happen. If you find a mistake in one of our books—maybe a mistake in the text or
the code—we would be grateful if you could report this to us. By doing so, you can
save other readers from frustration and help us improve subsequent versions of this
book. If you find any errata, please report them by visiting http://www.packtpub.
com/submit-errata, selecting your book, clicking on the Errata Submission Form
link, and entering the details of your errata. Once your errata are verified, your
submission will be accepted and the errata will be uploaded to our website or added
to any list of existing errata under the Errata section of that title.
To view the previously submitted errata, go to https://www.packtpub.com/books/
content/support and enter the name of the book in the search field. The required
information will appear under the Errata section.
Piracy of copyright material on the Internet is an ongoing problem across all media.
At Packt, we take the protection of our copyright and licenses very seriously. If you
come across any illegal copies of our works, in any form, on the Internet, please
provide us with the location address or website name immediately so that we can
pursue a remedy.
Please contact us at copyright@packtpub.com with a link to the suspected
pirated material.
We appreciate your help in protecting our authors, and our ability to bring you
valuable content.
You can contact us at questions@packtpub.com if you are having a problem with
any aspect of the book, and we will do our best to address it.
[ xv ]
Business Process Modeling
– Bridging Business and
"All business does IT" (Information Technology). This was a superlative but a
futuristically interesting tweet I came across recently. The impact of information
technology on business in recent years has been overwhelming. They are like two
large galaxies in our universe, colliding and merging. The current state of this
merger can be defined by one term - collaboration. Businesspeople collaborate with
information technology (IT) people and use IT services to continuously improve and
deliver commercially viable and profitable product/services to their customers.
Collaboration quintessentially needs effective communication, and Business Process
Modeling smoothly fits into this scenario. Business process modeling is not new;
business people have always used it. Models were developed in mind, and then, they
were written down as text or depicted as diagrams. With IT embracing business,
these models evolved into standard flow charts and activity diagrams. However,
there was ambiguity; the diagrams and text provided by business as requirements
were interpreted by the technical people and they had their own representation,
architectural models, requirement documents, and design. This was duplication
of effort and people, intensive, often with a line of meetings between business
stakeholders and information technologists negotiating, and arriving at conclusions
about the business requirements. This being the scenario, what improvement does
business process modeling bring to the table? Business process modeling brings in
the concept of a common artifact between business and information technologists.
Business Process Modeling – Bridging Business and Technology
Business models are prepared by business analysts and shared with technologists.
They collaborate and improve on the model and arrive at an artifact that is
executable. Further, technologists as always reduce their work by automating their
involvement; that is, we are moving largely to software systems where business
people can configure the business process and execute it without the intervention of
an information technologist.
Concluding the philosophy, let us jump to the larger context of Business
Process Management (BPM) and discuss it in detail. This chapter covers
the following concepts:
• Business process management concepts
• The standard – business process model and notation (BPMN 2.0)
• Use cases of BPM as applied in the industry
• Design patterns in the BPM world
• A brief introduction to jBPM
• Business logic integration platform, the bigger picture
Business process management
BPM involves the designing, modeling, executing, monitoring, and optimizing of
business processes. A specialized software system that helps achieve these objectives
completely is called Business Process Management System (BPMS). Most of the IT
infrastructure used in business is in fact part of one or more business processes, and
a BPMS should have the capability to manage the complete life cycle of a business
management process. Further, jBPM provides a complete BPMS.
Chapter 1
A business process consists of a set of activities, organized to complete a specific
business objective, which varies from creating a product to delivering a service. A business
process model also provides a visual representation of the business processes. The
activities in a business process (also called tasks) are connected to represent the
execution flow of a business process; further, these activities can be categorized.
jBPM helps its users to define and model business processes by using its process
designers. Business users can in fact design the business process online, and efficient
versioning and history capabilities help in making the activity of modeling business
processes collaborative. There are provisions to simulate how a business process
might behave during runtime. jBPM also provides capabilities to migrate the
process definition to an updated version when business changes stipulate process
The defined business process models are deployed to BPM software, where instances
of these process definitions are created to execute the process. jBPM provides the
capability of executing business processes and has complete operation management
capabilities such as tracking, controlling, and maintaining the history of the life cycle
of all process instances.
Human interaction management
An important concept that we need to discuss in detail while explaining BPMS is
Human Interaction Management (HIM). The activities that form business processes
can be broadly classified into automatic and manual. Automatic activities are those
that can be completed by the software system without any manual intervention. For
example, in a banking transaction process, the customer has to provide the details
of the transaction, such as the bank account number to which the money needs to be
transferred and the amount to be credited into this account. This is a manual activity.
In contrast, if an SMS alert needs to be sent to the customer's mobile as part of this
process, no manual intervention is needed; the software can fetch the mobile number
registered with the customer's account and send the SMS automatically. An SMS
alert is an automatic activity in the banking transaction process.
Business Process Modeling – Bridging Business and Technology
Therefore, human tasks are in fact human interactions in the business processes or,
in a broader sense, human interactions with the software system in place. Usually,
human activities are physical tasks that are performed outside the software system
and the results or conclusions are then fed as input into the software system.
Technically, from the perspective of the system, we can say that the associated
human activities would provide an input to the business process and there would be
scenarios where the business process would be able to continue only after manual
decisions. For example, in a banking transaction business process, the customer has
to provide a one-time password to continue the process.
A Human Interaction Management System (HIMS) should have the capability to
handle the life cycle of a human activity, which includes notifying the users who
are associated with the activity, collecting information or results from the users,
and keeping track of the history of the tasks. The information collected from human
interactions is used in process execution and decision making. jBPM has an in-built
human task service and can be integrated with any other HIMS. The in-built human
task service of jBPM is in compliance with the WS-Human Task specification.
jBPM also provides a form modeling feature that helps business analysts to design
user interface forms that can be attached to the jBPM user task, using which
information about the completion of the user task (if any) can be collected.
Business activity monitoring
Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) provides online monitoring capabilities for
business activities and enables businesses to arrive at key performance pointers by
slicing and dicing the activity event data. BAM refers to a general software system
that can monitor business processes, but attaching BAM with a BPM-based software
system is relatively easy and powerful. In general, BAM software has the capability
to show business data using dashboards, enabling business users to create customer
reports and charts for performance indicators and trend analysis.
The jBPM core engine stores the process and task history and provides APIs to
perform the BAM operations. Further, the jBPM tooling includes the dashboard
builder, which enables its users to create custom dashboards from the business
process history.
Consider a banking transaction process where a customer carries out a transaction
from his/her account to another account. By analyzing the process history logs, the
business user can create trend analysis reports of the peak hours of the day at which
the maximum number of transactions took place. This analysis can be used
to optimize related IT costs.
Chapter 1
Another more frequent use case where BAM is applied is the optimization of a
business process by avoiding process bottlenecks. Process bottlenecks can be caused
by various problems including resource shortage (insufficient supply of staff) or a
system not performing up-to-the-mark. A resource shortage problem would be quite
obvious, but a system inefficiency may not be very apparent. For example, suppose
that the One-Time Password (OTP) activity in a banking transaction process is often
delayed. Let us say it takes more than one minute, which prompts users to perform
the transaction again (or use the resend option) and leads to customer dissatisfaction.
This also leads to wastage of resources by sending multiple OTPs; in other words, a
delayed OTP confuses the customer and the bank further loses its credibility. Such
issues are often noticed by banks when diligent customers notify them about the
issues. BAMs can make the corrections of these issues more proactive, leading to
increased customer satisfaction.
Business process simulation
Business process simulation provides the business user with the ability to see how
the business process model created by them would work during runtime. Simulation
is a term that goes hand-in-hand with modeling. A model designer would really love
to have a simulator to test his model and understand the runtime impacts of his/her
model. Business process simulation is the capability to analyze the runtime behavior
of business processes. It helps in the optimization of business process models for
quality, performance, and resource utilization.
Comparing business process simulation with the more regular models of testing
these processes, we find that the user has to manually test these processes after
deploying them in a Quality Assurance (QA) environment. Further, for automated
verification, the user would have to rely on a programmer to script the automated
test cases. In both cases, the process of verification is not carried out locally with the
modeling process and delayed results mean iterations for corrections, adding to the
cost of process improvements.
Business process simulation provides business users with the ability to see how the
business process model created by them would work during runtime. The users
can provide the simulation information, which includes the input to the processes,
interrupts, and resource information to be used in the simulation mode. While
executing the simulation, the software collects the statistical information about the
running process, and this information can be analyzed by the users to optimize their
business model.
Business Process Modeling – Bridging Business and Technology
jBPM is an early adopter and implementer of the Business Process Simulation
Interchange Standard (BPSim). BPSim provides a standardized specification that
allows business process models to be analyzed using a computer interpretable
representation or a meta model. Using jBPM, the end user can provide the metadata
for simulation by using the process designer and execute simulations to view
the execution paths and the performance metrics associated with the various
execution paths.
The business process model and notation
Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) is the widely accepted standard for
business process modeling and provides a graphical notation for specifying business
processes in a Business Process Diagram (BPD). It is based on a flowcharting
technique very similar to the activity diagrams of Unified Modeling Language
(UML). BPMN is maintained by Object Management Group (OMG), and the
current version is 2.0 (released in March 2011).
The primary goal of BPMN is to provide a standard notation readily understandable
by business stakeholders. These include business analysts who create and refine the
processes, technical developers responsible for implementing these processes, and
operation managers who monitor and manage the processes. Consequently, BPMN
serves as a common language, bridging the communication gap that frequently
occurs between business process design and implementation. BPMN also serves as a
communication medium between organizations who partner for achieving common
business goals, to share functional processes and procedures.
One of the main differences between BPMN and other process definition standards
such as Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) is that BPMN supports
human interaction. Human interaction support provides completeness to business
process modeling, as humans are the primary actors in any business organization.
Being a specification of visual programming notations, BPMN places considerable
emphasis on diagrammatic representations of the elements of the business process
model. So, a reader of a BPMN diagram can easily recognize the basic type of
elements and understand the business process. BPMN conformance ensures a
common visual representation, although it allows variations without dramatically
changing the basic look and feel of the diagram.
The detailed explanation of the BPMN 2.0 specification can be found in the
specification document.
BPMN specification documents can be found at
Chapter 1
Conformance to standard BPMN specification defines four types of conformance:
• Process modeling conformance: Tools claiming conformance must support
BPMN core elements, human interactions, pools, and message flows.
• Process execution conformance: Tools claiming conformance must support
and interpret operational semantics and activity life cycle as stated in the
• BPEL process execution conformance: A special type of process execution
conformance that supports BPMN mapping to WS-BPEL.
• Choreography modeling conformance: Tools claiming conformance must
support choreography diagrams and their elements. Choreography diagrams
focus on the collaboration of different groups in activities and the message
flow between them.
A jBPM implementation partially claims the first two types of conformance, namely
process modeling conformance and process execution conformance. Although jBPM
supports all core elements in process modeling, it does not support all the elements
described in the specification.
Core elements
The chief constituents of a BPMN diagram, BPMN elements, can be broadly
classified into five categories:
• Flow Objects: These objects define the behavior of a business process
• Data: This represents the data associated in the business process
• Connecting Objects: These objects are used to connect the flow objects to
each other
• Swimlanes: This is used to categorize the flow objects
• Artifacts: These provide additional information about the process
Flow Objects
Flow objects are the meat of BPMN; they are used to define how the business process
would behave. The following are the major types of flow objects:
• Events: An event is something that happens in the course of a business
process. These events affect the flow of the model and usually have a trigger
for and an impact on the business process. Some examples of events are Start,
Stop, and Error. A Start event triggers the start of a process instance and is
triggered using an explicit trigger, a message, or a timer. Events can be either
signaled from a process (thrown) or can be waited upon (catch).
Business Process Modeling – Bridging Business and Technology
• Activities: Activities are actions performed within a business process.
They can be either atomic (called Tasks) or compound (Sub-processes). An
example of an activity is a user task or a service task. A user task indicates a
human interaction and the action has to be taken manually to complete this
task. A task can be complete upon being triggered or can wait for completion
(a wait state); for example, a service task is triggered and completed, while a
human task is triggered and waited upon for a user to complete the action.
• Gateways: Gateways are used as controllers for the branching, merging,
forking, and joining of execution paths within a business process. An
example is the parallel gateway, which can be used to split the execution
path into multiple outgoing branches, with all outgoing branches activated
simultaneously. Parallel gateways can also be used to merge branches;
they wait for the completion of all incoming branches to complete before
triggering the outgoing flow.
Business process execution results in the production of data; for example, in the
banking transaction process, the transaction details are data provided by the user
regarding the transaction. This data would have to be saved or transferred to another
activity for further processing. The following elements are the core of data modeling
in BPMN.
• Data Object: Data objects are data created as part of a business activity.
They can be used for informational purposes to indicate that the activity
produces such data.
• Data Input: Data inputs specify the input needed for an activity for its
completion. For example, an OTP sending task in the banking transaction
process would need the details of the customer to send the SMS. So, the input
of this activity is mapped from the output of the previous activity or from
data that is globally associated with the process instance.
• Data Output: Data outputs are data resulting from an activity that have to
be mapped to a global process variable or to serve as input to a subsequent
• Data Store: A data store provides a mechanism for activities to retrieve or
update stored information that persists beyond the scope of the process.
Chapter 1
Connecting Objects
Flow objects are connected to each other by using connecting objects. The following
are the types of connecting objects:
• Sequence Flows: A sequence flow is the basic element used to represent a
connection. It is used to connect flow objects and defines the execution order
of activities.
• Message Flows: Message flows are used to represent information flow across
organizational boundaries (a group of activities within an organization or a
department, or a role of users).
• Associations: Associations are used to represent the association of data or an
artifact to a flow object.
Swimlanes are a visual mechanism for organizing and categorizing activities
and form the basis of cross-functional charts using BPMN. They represent an
organization, a role or, a system. They are basically of the following two types:
• Pools: A pool represents the higher-level categorization of activities.
For example, an organization can be represented as a pool. A pool consists
of multiple lanes. An example of lanes would be the departments within
an organization.
• Lanes: A lane represents the categorization within the pool.
The lane contains flow objects, connecting objects, and artifacts.
Artifacts are graphical representations that provide supporting information about
the process or elements within the process. They don't interfere with the process
flow; in other words, we can say that they are opaque from the perspective of process
execution. The basic types of artifacts stated in the BPMN specification are as follows:
• Group: The Group construct can be used to logically group an arbitrary set of
flow objects to show that they logically belong together
• Text Annotation: Text annotation can used to associate additional
documentation with any element in a BPMN diagram
Business Process Modeling – Bridging Business and Technology
The banking transaction process is illustrated in the following diagram with the core
elements of event, activity, data object, lane, and gateway annotated:
Business process management as
applied in industry
BPM is typically used in industries where the following is true:
• The business process is distributed and spans across multiple applications or
software systems
• The process involves complex rules that have to be maintained and
updated overtime
• There is a need to continuously improve the business process by monitoring
the existing activities
• The business is done by the collaboration of multiple stakeholders
With the above considerations, we can apply BPM to any process-oriented domain,
such as healthcare, insurance, point of sales, supply chain management, and banking
and financial services. A fully functional BPM system gives a huge advantage in
terms of the turnaround time for an organization with a new product/service
offering or an improved process.
[ 10 ]
Chapter 1
Considering the scope of this book, we can briefly detail some domains in the
upcoming sections. A detailed study of these use cases is done in the subsequent
chapters, and these use cases are used throughout the book for explaining each
and every aspect of jBPM.
Supply chain management
A supply chain is an interconnected set of business procedures and business partners
that manages the flow of goods and information from the point of design to the
delivery of the product and/or service to the end customer. The supply chain provides
a well-coordinated channel to organizations for delivering their products and services
to the end customer. Supply chain typical include the following:
• Suppliers: They supply the raw materials.
• Manufacturers: They manufacture the product.
• Distributors: They distributes the product for sale to the retailers.
• Retailers: They sell the product to the end customers.
• Customers: They buy and use the product. Therefore, a supply chain is a
collaboration of multiple functional units, and these groups can be within
the same organization or from different business units. Coordinating the jobs
and meeting end user expectations in a cost-effective manner is a challenge
and is attributed to supply chain management systems. As you can see,
the domain is inherently process oriented, with a lot of complex rules and
regulations governing each stage of the process, and this is a best-fit domain
for applying complete BPM systems.
A few processes to name in the supply chain domain are as follows:
• Manufacturing flow management: This deals with the manufacturing of
products and/or provision of services
• Order management: This meets customer requirements in terms of
order fulfillment
• Customer service management: This provides real-time information about
product availability, shipping dates, and order status
[ 11 ]
Business Process Modeling – Bridging Business and Technology
Order management is a core process in the supply chain domain. The process depicted
in the next figure is a trivial process but is intended to exemplify the ease and clarity
that a business process brings to the table, particularly to a cross-functional business
process. From the process diagram itself, any layman can understand the crossfunctional units in the organization and, of course, the flow. Thus, the users, both
business analysts and operations users, can understand the bigger picture more easily,
thereby improving the overall communication and efficiency.
Payment is an activity but has the size and complexity of a separate process. Further,
if we apply the rule of responsibility, a payment needs to be clearly abstracted as
a separate process that can be reused across the processes of the organization for
processing a payment. Thus, we can take a design decision of making payment
a sub-process that reduces complexity, enables better handling of exceptional
situations, and enables reusability.
Another point I want you to notice in this particular process is the Stop event in
No Stock; a message is embedded in the termination of the process. This can be
used as a signal to another organization process for handling No Stock situations;
for example, in this case, No Stock would be the signal event to trigger a demand
management process.
[ 12 ]
Chapter 1
Banking and financial services
Banking is another domain where BPMs are heavily applied. BPM enables banks to
automate their business process such as account opening, loan processing, payments,
and transactions. Visibility of processes and compliance to regulations are critical in
the banking domain. Banks continuously make innovative changes in their processes
and services, and BPMS provides them with the capability to adapt to process
improvement initiatives rapidly.
The typical business processes associated with banking are as follows:
• Account opening and maintenance
• Loan processing
• Payments and transaction processing
The preceding figure shows a simplified version of loan processing, similar to the
supply chain management domain sample process. The clarity it brings in is obvious.
However, in the banking domain, the more important aspects are the flexibility,
automation, and intelligence options that BPM puts before the business users. The
business users can define processes and modify them, thus bringing agility for
market promotions; automation helps users to successfully comply with regulatory
compliance; and activity monitoring-based analytics help banking organizations
to reduce fraud and enhance customer experience.
[ 13 ]
Business Process Modeling – Bridging Business and Technology
Design patterns in business process
Design patterns are solutions to commonly occurring problems in their
corresponding domain. Business process models try to map general business
processes and procedures by using a standard set of elements. The design patterns
provided next are solutions for certain commonly occurring problems in business
process modeling.
The section focuses on providing an introduction to the design patterns that were
identified in the business process modeling domain. Understanding these patterns
would help you in identifying solutions easily to the problems you are trying to map
using BPMS. The following list of patterns is found in the pattern templates provided
by the jBPM designer tools.
Sequence is the most basic pattern that occurs in business process modeling, using
which tasks to be executed sequentially, one after another, can be modeled.
jBPM supports this by connecting the task using sequence flow connectors, which
provide a sequential ordering of the tasks.
The preceding figure illustrates a part of the loan processing in the banking domain,
which represents a sequence pattern problem. Activities such as collecting loan
information, validations, and sending for authorization have to be done sequentially;
these activities can be allocated to separate human users or even to system
automated tasks.
[ 14 ]
Chapter 1
Parallel split
A parallel split pattern is used for splitting the branch of execution to more than two
branches in such a way that each of the outgoing branches is executed in parallel.
jBPM supports a parallel split pattern by using a parallel gateway, in which all
outgoing branches are activated simultaneously.
The preceding figure shows a scenario in the order fulfillment process, where a
parallel split pattern is applicable. During the ordering process, after providing the
order details the shipment of the order and the invoice sending, payments may be
parallel paths of processes. The parallel split pattern fits in here, solving the problem.
A synchronization pattern is just the other end of the parallel split design patterns; it
merges two or more branches in such a way that the merged branch would run only
after the execution of all incoming branches that are to join.
[ 15 ]
Business Process Modeling – Bridging Business and Technology
The preceding figure shows the continuation of the example from the parallel split
pattern, after the parallel process paths for shipment and payment making are
completed, there is a close order activity to be done. Notice that the close order activity
has to be done after the completion of both the payment and the shipment activities.
Simple merge
The simple merge pattern provides a way to merge two or more branches in a process
definition into a single path of execution. This is particularly useful in scenarios
where there are two or more paths to reach a common set of activities. We can avoid
duplicating these common set of activities by using a simple merge pattern.
In jBPM, single merge can be realized by using an XOR or exclusive gateway, which
awaits one incoming branch to complete before triggering the outgoing flow.
The preceding example process, which deals with changing the password of an
online banking customer, fits nicely with the problem statement of a simple merge.
As illustrated in the diagram, for ensuring security, the user is given two options,
either provide the debit card details or answer a security question. After giving
either of these options, password confirmation occurs. The exclusive gateway (before
the Confirm Password activity) provides control to the confirm password activity
after the completion of either of the parallel activities.
Exclusive choice
Exclusive choice patterns provide a solution to diverging a branch into more than
one branch (or path of execution) such that after the completion of the incoming
branch, the flow of execution is handed over to precisely one branch on the basis
of the condition of branching.
[ 16 ]
Chapter 1
In jBPM, this pattern can be implemented using the data-based exclusive (XOR)
gateway. The XOR gateway splits and routes the execution to exactly one branch
on the basis of the branch condition provided.
The preceding figure illustrates a scenario for exclusive choice. The sample is a part
of a process for making an online transaction. After entering the password based on
a validation in the exclusive gateway with the condition, the selection of the path to
continue is made. This pattern is similar to a decision box in a flowchart.
Implicit termination
The implicit termination pattern enables a user to terminate the process from any
branch. The process engine verifies the completed workitems and decides the
termination of the process. This largely avoids clutter because otherwise we have to
design the process in such a way that these paths join at a single point of termination.
The complexity of such a design would increase with the increasing number of paths
in the process.
[ 17 ]
Business Process Modeling – Bridging Business and Technology
The previous figure shows a process with two terminations or termination events
attached. Here, either after completion of Task B or after completion of Task C,
the process terminates.
If implicit termination is not supported by the BPMN implementation, users can
achieve the termination by merging the paths to a common termination, and is called
as explicit termination.. The following figure shows the explicit termination:
Referring the preceding figure, we can see that a gateway is used to achieve a
common termination point. The results of the process execution in the previous two
cases are the same, but the second solution (explicit termination) is more complex.
Deferred choice
Deferred choice gives a business process the ability to choose a path on the basis of an
interaction with the operating environment. The execution control waits in the decision
gateway; the path where the first task is initiated is chosen as the path of execution.
[ 18 ]
Chapter 1
The preceding figure shows the implementation of a deferred choice pattern in an
online banking scenario. The process is for enabling the customer to register his/
her e-mail with his/her account to receive updates, account statements, and so on.
After the registration, an e-mail is sent to the customer at the registered customer ID
to complete registration. If the customer doesn't respond to it within a specified time
period (here, 24 Hours), the registration fails.
Multiple instance without synchronization
By using the Multiple Instance (MI) facility, we can create multiple instances of
a task. These instances are independent of each other. There is no requirement to
synchronize the execution flow after the multiple instance execution, unlike a merge.
jBPM allows us to model a multiple instance sub-process, which can be used to
implement the MI patterns. An example is shown in the following figure:
After the execution of Task A, the Task B execution is done by using a collection
expression used to define B Multiple Instance Sub process. Multiple instances of
Task B are executed depending on the number of items provided in the collection
expression. Task C is executed without waiting for the execution completion of Task
B (or instances of Task B). This pattern is particularly useful when multiple tasks
need to be run in a fire-and forget-manner.
For example, in a process, we have to send e-mails to a set of users (say subscribers
for an incident). Here, the collection expression would be the list of subscribers. The
multiple instance task (send e-mail task) would send e-mails to each subscriber.
Synchronized merge
Synchronized merge provides a controlled way for merging a branched
execution flow. The execution flow is merged when all incoming "active"
branches are completed.
[ 19 ]
Business Process Modeling – Bridging Business and Technology
jBPM implements this pattern by using the inclusive gateway. Inclusive gateways,
upon splitting, activate one or more branches on the basis of the branching
conditions. Upon merging, it waits for all active incoming branches to complete.
The preceding process illustrates a synchronized merge scenario. Based on the
condition for the levels of approval, one or more levels of approval may be required.
The second inclusive gateway ensures that the control to the next activity is done
after all active approvals are done.
Arbitrary cycle
Arbitrary cycle patterns address the need for repetition of tasks in a process model
in an unstructured manner, without the need of explicit constructs such as loop
operators. This pattern helps in representing process models that require a cycle
in a visually readable format.
The preceding figure shows that tasks can be cyclically connected using connectors
and gateways.
[ 20 ]
Chapter 1
Introducing jBPM
jBPM is an open source BPM suite with a complete tool stack supporting everything
right from the modeling and execution to the management and maintenance of
business processes. It was released under Apache License 2.0, and was developed
and is actively supported by the JBoss community.
The tool stack focuses on serving the following two types of users:
• Business users who model the application and use the application
• Technologists who assist the business users to make the models executable
and the application completely functional
The following diagram will give you an overall view of the jBPM tool stack and
the set of functionalities that it provides. We will discuss in brief the functional
components. Detailed discussions of each of these components will be presented in
subsequent chapters.
[ 21 ]
Business Process Modeling – Bridging Business and Technology
The KIE workbench
Kie is the abbreviated form of "Knowledge is Everything," and the Kie workbench
is a combination of every tool in the Drools world for capturing and managing
knowledge. It combines capabilities such as authoring of projects, data models, rules,
decision tables, test services, process authoring, process runtime execution, process
simulation, and human task management.
The Kie workbench provides a web frontend and a complete integrated environment
for doing all BPM-related activities. It makes it easier for the user to manage the large
set of tools. The underlying architecture is highly modular, and you can integrate
each part of this functionality independently to your web application, provided it is
UberFire is a web-based workbench framework inspired by
Eclipse RPC. It is plugin-based, and the runtime is a composition
of UberFire-compliant plugins.
For more information, see http://www.uberfireframework.
The importance of Kie workbench is that it also provides a philosophy, a guideline,
and a process, in developing knowledge-based systems. It guides you through
developing a knowledge-based system in a structured manner.
The knowledge life cycle, as the community calls it, is a cycle consisting of the
following steps:
1. Discover: The business knowledge required to drive your company.
2. Author: Formalize your business knowledge.
3. Deploy: Learn how to configure your environment.
4. Work: Reduce the paperwork.
5. Improve: Enhance your business performance.
The knowledge life cycle shows the maturity of the JBoss community in providing
ready-to-use, knowledge-based application development environments.
Process Designer
Process Designer is a web-based rich user interface that allows us to model
BPMN2-compliant business processes. Its aim is to provide an intuitive workbench
where both business and technical users can model and simulate executable
business processes.
[ 22 ]
Chapter 1
Operation management
The output of modeling is executable business processes. Management tooling
enables users to manage the execution of processes, monitor the execution, and
report it.
jBPM provides web-based tooling for process management, monitoring, and
reporting. Web-based tooling in fact uses the core engine APIs. These APIs are
exposed via Representational State Transfer (REST), Java Message Service (JMS),
and Contexts and Dependency Injection (CDI) interfaces so that they can be
integrated with other enterprise software systems.
Eclipse tooling
Although as a BPM suite, jBPM focuses on business users with a large set of webbased tooling for business users, the community firmly keeps their feet on the
ground, with explicit tooling for technical users who are relied upon to build
complex business functionalities.
Eclipse-based tooling is a set of plugins to the Eclipse IDE and allows technical users
to integrate the jBPM environment to the software development environment. The
Eclipse tooling provides features such as the following:
• Wizard for creating a new jBPM project
• Graphical modeler for BPMN 2.0 processes
• Runtime support (for selecting the jBPM runtime to use)
• Debugging, the current states of the running processes can be inspected and
visualized during execution
• Process instance view, providing information showing all running process
instances and their state
• Audit view showing the audit log
• Synchronizing with the Kie workbench repositories, enabling collaboration
between eclipse tooling users and the web-based users
Core engine
The core of jBPM is a business process execution engine built in Java. It is lightweight
and is easily embeddable in any Java application as a dependency (as dependent
libraries). The core engine is designed as a standard-based, pluggable, and highly
extensible component. It supports the native BPMN 2.0 specification.
[ 23 ]
Business Process Modeling – Bridging Business and Technology
The knowledge repository
The knowledge repository is where we store all the process definitions and related
artifacts. BPM is a continuous process; business processes continuously evolve, and it
is important to keep track of the updated processes and provide multiple versions of
the processes. jBPM uses Drools Guvnor as the knowledge repository and provides
the following:
• Persistence storage for processes and related artifacts such as processes,
rules, data models, and forms
• Deploying selected processes
• Authentication and authorization
• Categorization and searching of knowledge artifacts
• Scenario testing to make sure you don't break anything when
we update processes
• Features for collaborative development of business processes,
such as comments and change notifications
The business logic integration platform
It is also important to understand that jBPM is a part of a package provided by JBoss,
the Business Logic Integration Platform (BLIP) that consists of the following:
• Drools Guvnor (Business rules manager)
• Drools Expert (Rule engine)
• jBPM (Process Management)
• Drools Fusion (Event processing/Temporal reasoning)
Together they form a complete solution for knowledge-based application
development and management for enterprise solutions.
BILP can be visualized as a rapid enterprise application development platform from
which applications can be solely built by modeling rules, business process flows,
events, data models, and forms with very little help from the technical users. The
technology and its tools have dual focus: they explicitly serve business users, enable
these users to express requirements directly by modeling, and help to engage them
in the application development process, guided by technical users who make the
models fully functional and realize the software application with all its qualities
(nonfunctional requirements).
[ 24 ]
Chapter 1
BLIP integrates the following three paradigms in business
language-driven applications:
• Business Rule: This represents knowledge in the business domain
• Business Processes: This represents activities performed in the
business domain
• Event Stream Processing: This adds temporal reasoning as part
of the knowledge
These paradigms, although developed as three different streams, as obvious from the
definitions itself, are interrelated in a business solution context. No wonder in most
of the solution architectures, these three form the cornerstones of business modeling.
These paradigms are integrated into a unified platform, where all features of
one module are leveraged by the other modules. The decision-making (from the
knowledge base) capabilities in Drools Expert are used by Drools Fusion; the event
processing capabilities of Drools Fusion can be used by the BPM suite jBPM; and
jBPM uses Drools Expert internally for executing business rule tasks.
The following figure depicts this integration and the interactions between the
modules in the platform. Drools Guvnor is used for designing processes, events,
rules, and related artifacts; storing them; and providing integrated testing facilities.
As an integrated platform, BLIP allows interactions between rules, processes, and
[ 25 ]
Business Process Modeling – Bridging Business and Technology
As depicted in the preceding diagram:
• Drools Expert can start a business process or create events based on its
rule inference
• Drools Fusion can trigger rules or signal processes based on its temporal
reasoning capacity based on the incoming pattern of events; and jBPM
can trigger rules as one of its activities or generate events based on the
business activity
We have already discussed the overview of jBPM; now, let us briefly discuss the
other component in the platform in subsequent sections.
Drools Guvnor
We have already discussed the knowledge repository in the core concepts section of
jBPM, and you guessed correct, jBPM uses Drools Guvnor as its knowledge repository.
Drools Guvnor provides the following features:
• Assistive authoring for knowledge artifacts such as process definition,
rule definition, events, and related artifacts
• Access control and security for using these artifacts
• Version management
• Assisted deployment and distribution of the artifacts to the
runtime environment
• Integrated testing
Drools Expert
Drools Expert is a rule engine. The knowledge is stored in the knowledge base as
rules, which are defined in a declarative language, Drools Rule Language (DRL).
The engine matches the incoming data or facts against these rules to reach a decision
and execute actions attached to the inferences/decisions.
Drools Fusion
Drools Fusion is an event processing engine used to detect and select the events of
interest (business interest) from multiple streams or an event cloud. Fusion works in
tight integration with Drools Expert.
[ 26 ]
Chapter 1
Drools Fusion provides the following features:
• Temporal reasoning, which allows the definition and inference of business
rules based on time factor of events
• Scheduling and delaying of actions to be taken on inferences
Working together
Now that we have discussed the tools, we can now move on to visualize how these
tools work together to make a business solution that is completely rule-driven. The
following figure provides a bird's eye view of a possible solution architecture where
we use these tools together.
Together, they enable business analysts to write and manage applications by
mapping business scenarios to process definitions, rule definitions for decisions,
and rules including temporal logic.
1. The designer tools enable business analysts to map the business scenarios
required for a solution to rules, processes, events, or related artifacts.
2. The applications/users can interact with the solution by using the operation
management tooling provided by jBPM, or they can use the RESTful web
service interface to access the same from their proprietary applications.
[ 27 ]
Business Process Modeling – Bridging Business and Technology
3. The runtime integrates the business processing, rule inference,
and temporal reasoning capabilities to infer decisions and take actions
for a business scenario.
4. The knowledge repository module provides storage, version management,
deployment, and testing of the applications developed.
Another important thing I want to highlight from the preceding figure is the
technology platforms used by the individual tools. The web-based user interface
for process designing and operation management is developed using the UberFire
framework; the Eclipse-based tooling is based on eclipse RCP; the runtime is based
on the Kie framework; and Guvnor is based on virtual file system-based storage and
by default uses Git. The details of these technology platforms so as to customize and
extend jBPM will be discussed in Chapter 7, Customizing and Extending jBPM.
Red Hat also provides a commercially supported flavor of this package and is called
Red Hat JBoss BPM Suite.
The goal of this chapter was to give you a picture of the world of BPM. We explored
the basic concepts, the standard, patterns, use cases where BPM is applied in the
industry, and its benefits. We also explored the jBPM tool stack and the bigger picture
of BLIP. These concepts and tools will be discussed in detail throughout this book.
In the next chapter, we will discuss how to install the jBPM tool stack and create our
first business process-centric application using jBPM.
[ 28 ]
Building Your First BPM
Let us now build our first BPM application by using the jBPM tool stack. This chapter
will guide you through the following topics:
• Installing the jBPM tool stack
• Hacking the default installation configurations
• Modeling and deploying a jBPM project
• Embedding jBPM inside a standalone Java project
A step towards the goal of this book, the chapter gives you the hands-on flexibility
of the jBPM tool stack and provides information on hacking the configuration and
playing around.
Installing the jBPM tool stack
A jBPM release comes with an installation zip file, which contains the essentials for
the jBPM environment and tools for building a demo runtime for easy hands-on
management of the jBPM runtime environment.
For downloading jBPM:
1. Go to http://jboss.org/jbpm | Download | Download jBPM 6.2.0.Final
| jbpm-6.2.0.Final-installer-full.zip.
Use the latest stable version. The content of the book follows the 6.2.0 release.
[ 29 ]
Building Your First BPM Application
2. Unzip and extract the installer content and you will find an install.html
file that contains the helper documentation for installing a demo jBPM
runtime with inbuilt projects.
jBPM installation needs JDK 1.6+ to be installed and set as JAVA_
HOME and the tooling for installation is done using ANT scripts
(ANT version 1.7+).
The tooling for installation is basically an ANT script, which is a straightforward
method for installation and can be customized easily. To operate the tooling, the
ANT script consists of the ANT targets that act as the commands for the tooling. The
following figure will make it easy for you to understand the relevant ANT targets
available in the script. Each box represents an ANT target and helps you to manage
the environment. The basic targets available are for installing, starting, stopping, and
cleaning the environment.
To run the ANT target, install ANT 1.7+, navigate to the installer folder (by using the
shell or the command line tool available in your OS), and run the target by using the
following command:
ant <targetname>
Downloading the example code
You can download the example code files from your account at http://
www.packtpub.com for all the Packt Publishing books that you have
purchased. If you purchased this book elsewhere, you can visit http://
www.packtpub.com/support and register to have the files e-mailed
directly to you.
[ 30 ]
Chapter 2
The jBPM installer comes with a default demo environment, which uses a basic H2
database as its persistence storage. The persistence of jBPM is done using Hibernate;
this makes it possible for jBPM to support an array of popular databases including
the databases in the following list:
Hibernate or Hibernate ORM is an object relational mapping framework
and is used by jBPM to persist data to relation databases. For more
details, see http://hibernate.org/.
[ 31 ]
Building Your First BPM Application
Databases Supported
Apache Derby
HSQL Database Engine
Microsoft SQL Server
For installing the demo, use the following command:
ant install.demo
The install command would install the web tooling and the Eclipse tooling,
required for modeling and operating jBPM.
ant start.demo
This command will start the application server (JBoss) with the web tooling (the Kie
workbench and dashboard) deployed in it and the eclipse tooling with all the plugins
Refer install.html, the installation documentation included in the
installer archive for common errors that can occur during installation; it
guides you to the solutions. The installation document is quite elaborate;
please refer to it for a more detailed understanding of the installation
That's it for the installation! Now, the JBoss application server should be running
with the Kie workbench and dashboard builder deployed.
You can now access the Kie workbench demo environment by using the URL and
log in by using the demo admin user called admin and the password admin:
[ 32 ]
Chapter 2
Customizing the installation
The demo installation is a sandbox environment, which allows for an easy
installation and reduces time between you getting the release and being able to play
around by using the stack. Even though it is very necessary, when you get the initial
stuff done and get serious about jBPM, you may want to install a jBPM environment,
which will be closer to a production environment. We can customize the installer for
this purpose. The following sections will guide you through the options available
for customization.
Changing the database vendor
The jBPM demo sandbox environment uses an embedded H2 database as the
persistence storage. jBPM provides out of the box support for more widely used
databases such as MySQL, PostgreSQL, and so on. Follow these steps to achieve a
jBPM installation with these databases:
1. Update the build.properties file available in the root folder of the
installation to choose the required database instead of H2. By default,
configurations for MySQL and PostgreSQL are available. For the support
of other databases, check the hibernate documentation before configuring.
2. Update db/jbpm-persistence-JPA2.xml, and update the hibernate.
dialect property with an appropriate Hibernate dialect for our database
3. Install the corresponding JDBC driver in the application server where we
intend to deploy jBPM web tooling.
Manually installing the database schema
By default, the database schema is created automatically by using the Hibernate
autogeneration capabilities. However, if we want to manually install the database
schemas, the corresponding DDL scripts are available in db\ddl-scripts for all
major database vendors.
[ 33 ]
Building Your First BPM Application
Creating your first jBPM project
jBPM provides a very structured way of creating a project. The structure considers
application creation and maintenance for large organizations with multiple
departments. This structure is recommended for use as it is a clean and secure way of
manning the business process artifacts. The following image details the organization
of a project in jBPM web tooling (or the Kie workbench).
The jBPM workbench comes with an assumption of one business process
management suite for an organization. An organization can have multiple
organization units, which will internally contain multiple projects and form the root
of the project, and as the name implies, it represents a fraction of an organization.
This categorization can be visualized in any business organization and is sometimes
referred as departments. In an ideal categorization, these organization units will be
functionally different and thus, will contain different business processes. Using the
workbench, we can create multiple organization units.
The next categorization is the repository. A repository is a storage of business model
artifacts such as business processes, business rules, and data models. A repository
can be mapped to a functional classification within an organization, and multiple
repositories can be set up if these repositories run multiple projects; the handling
of these project artifacts have to be kept secluded from each other (for example, for
Within a repository, we can create a project, and within a project, we can define and
model business process artifacts. This structure and abstraction will be very useful to
manage and maintain BPM-based applications.
Let us go through the steps in detail now.
[ 34 ]
Chapter 2
After installation, you need to log into the Kie workbench. Now, as explained
previously, we can create a project. Therefore, the first step is to create an
organizational unit:
1. Click through the menu bars, and go to Authoring | Administration |
Organizational Units | Manage Organizational Units.
This takes you to the Organizational Unit Manager screen; here, we can
see a list of organizational units and repositories already present and their
2. Click Add to create an organizational unit, and give the name of the
organization unit and the user who is in charge of administering the projects
in the organization unit.
3. Now, we can add a repository, navigate through the menus, and go to
Authoring | Administration | Repositories | New Repository.
[ 35 ]
Building Your First BPM Application
4. Now, provide a name for the repository, choose the organization unit,
and create the repository.
Creating the repository results in (internally) creating a Git repository. The default
location of the Git repository in the workbench is $WORKING_DIRECTORY/.niogit
and can be modified by using the following system property: -Dorg.uberfire.nio.
1. Now, we can create a project for the organization unit. Go to Authoring |
Project Authoring | Project Explorer. Now, choose your organization unit
(here, Mastering-jBPM) from the bread crumb of project categorization.
2. Click New Item and choose Project. Now, we can create a project by entering
a relevant project name.
[ 36 ]
Chapter 2
3. This takes you to the new project wizard as shown in the following figure:
4. This gives details like project name and a brief summary of the project, and
more importantly, gives the group ID, artifact ID, and version ID for the
project. Further, Finish the creation of new project.
Those of you who know Maven and its artifact structure, will now have got an
insight on how a project is built. Yes! The project created is a Maven module and is
deployed as one. We will get into the detail of this is in the coming chapters.
[ 37 ]
Building Your First BPM Application
Business Process Modeling
Therefore, we are ready to create our first business process model by using jBPM.
1. Go to New Item | Business Process:
Provide the name for the business process; here, we are trying to create a
very primitive process as an example.
2. Now, the workbench will show you the process modeler for modeling the
business process. Click the zoom button in the toolbar, if you think you need
more real estate for modeling (highlighted in red in the following image):
Basically, the workbench can be divided into five parts:
• Toolbar (on the top): It gives you a large set of tools for visual modeling and
saving the model.
• Object library (on the left side of the canvas): It gives you all the standard
BPMN construct stencils, which you can drag and drop to create a model.
[ 38 ]
Chapter 2
• Workspace (on the center): You get a workspace or canvas on which you
can draw the process models. The canvas is very intuitive; if you click on an
object, it shows a tool set surrounding it to draw the next one or guide to the
next object.
• Properties (on the right side of the canvas): It gives the property values for all
the attributes associated with the business process and each of its constructs.
• Problems (on the bottom): It gives you the errors on the business process that
you are currently modeling. The validations are done on save, and we have
provisions to have autosave options.
The following screenshot shows the process modeler with all the sections described:
Therefore, we can start modeling out first process. I assume the role of a business
analyst who wants to model a simple process of content writing. This is a very
simple process with just two tasks, one human task for writing and the other for
[ 39 ]
Building Your First BPM Application
We can attach the actor associated with the task by going to the Properties panel and
setting the actor. In this example, I have set it as admin, the default user, for the sake
of simplicity.
Now, we can save the project by using the Save button; it asks for a check-in
comment, which provides the comment for this version of the process that we have
just saved. Process modeling is a continuous process, and if properly used, the checkin comment can helps us to keep track on the objectives of process updates.
Building and deploying the project
Even though the project created is minuscular with just a sample project, this is fully
functional! Yes, we have completed a business process, which will be very limited
in functionality, but with its limited set of functionalities (if any), it can be deployed
and operated.
Go to Tools | Project Editor, and click Build & Deploy, as shown in the following
[ 40 ]
Chapter 2
To see the deployment listed, go to Deploy | Deployments to see Deployment
Units, as shown in the following screenshot:
This shows the effectiveness of jBPM as a rapid application builder using a business
process. We can create, model, and deploy a project within a span of minutes.
Running your first process
Here, we start the operation management using jBPM. Now, we assume the role of
an operational employee. We have deployed a process and have to create a process
instance and run it.
1. Go to Process Management | Process Definitions. We can see the details of
the process definitions deployed in the following screenshot:
[ 41 ]
Building Your First BPM Application
2. Click New Instance and start the process. This will start a process instance.
3. Go to Process Management | Process Instances to view the process instance
details and perform life cycle actions on process instances.
The example writing process consists of two human tasks. Upon the start of
the process instance, the Write task is assigned to the admin. The assigned
task can be managed by going to the task management functionality.
4. Go to Tasks | Tasks List:
In Tasks List, we can view the details of the human tasks and perform human task
life cycle operations such as assigning, delegating, completing, and aborting a task.
[ 42 ]
Chapter 2
Embedding jBPM in a standalone Java
The core engine of jBPM is a set of lightweight libraries, which can be embedded in
any Java standalone application. This gives the enterprise architects the flexibility to
include jBPM inside their existing application and leverage the functionalities
of BPM.
This section will cover how to programmatically start the runtime engine and start a
process instance, and will guide you in writing automated tests for BPMN processes.
Modeling the business process using Eclipse
Upon running the installation script, jBPM installs the web tooling as well as the
Eclipse tooling. The Eclipse tooling basically consists of the following:
• jBPM project wizard: It helps you to create a jBPM project easily
• jBPM runtime: An easy way of choosing the jBPM runtime version; this
associates a set of libraries for the particular version of jBPM to the project
• BPMN Modeler: It is used to model the BPMN process
• Drools plugin: It gives you the debugging and operation management
capabilities within Eclipse
Creating a jBPM project using Eclipse
The Eclipse web tooling is available in the installer root folder. Start Eclipse and
create a new jBPM Maven project:
1. Go to File | New Project | jBPM Project (Maven).
2. Provide the project name and location details; now, the jBPM project wizard
will do the following:
Create a default jBPM project for you with the entire initial
configuration setup
Attach all runtime libraries
Create a sample project
Set up a unit testing environment for the business process
[ 43 ]
Building Your First BPM Application
3. The following screenshot shows the jBPM project wizard.
4. The Eclipse workbench is considerably similar to the web tooling workbench;
a screenshot is shown as follows:
[ 44 ]
Chapter 2
Similar to web tooling, it contains the toolbox, workspace, palette showing the
BPMN construct stencils, and the property explorer.
We can create a new BPMN process by going to New Project Wizard and selecting
jBPM | BPMN2 Process. Give the process file name and click Finish; this will create
a default BPMN2 template file. The BPMN2 modeler helps to visually model the
process by dragging and dropping BPMN constructs from the palette and connecting
them using the tool set.
[ 45 ]
Building Your First BPM Application
Deploying the process programmatically
For deploying and running the business process programmatically, you have to
follow these steps:
KIE is the abbreviation for Knowledge Is Everything.
1. Creating the knowledge base: Create the Kie Services, which is a hub giving
access to the services provided by Kie:
KieServices ks = KieServices.Factory.get();
Using the Kie Service, create Kie Container, which is the container for the
knowledge base:
KieContainer kContainer = ks.getKieClasspathContainer();
Create and return the knowledge base with the input name:
KieBase kbase = kContainer.getKieBase("kbase");
2. Creating a runtime manager: The runtime manger manages the runtime
build with knowledge sessions and Task Service to create an executable
environment for processes and user tasks.
Create the JPA entity manager factory used for creating the persistence
service, for communicating with the storage layer:
EntityManagerFactory emf =
Create the runtime builder, which is the dsl style helper to create the
runtime environment:
RuntimeEnvironmentBuilder builder =
[ 46 ]
Chapter 2
Using the runtime environment, create the runtime manager:
RuntimeManager RuntimeManager =
3. Creating the runtime engine: Using the runtime manager, creates the
runtime engine that is fully initialized and ready for operation:
RuntimeEngine engine = manager.getRuntimeEngine(null);
4. Starting the process: Using the runtime manager, create a knowledge session
and start the process:
KieSession ksession = engine.getKieSession();
This creates and starts a process instance.
From the runtime manager, we can also access the human task service and
interact with its API.
Go to Window | Show View | Others | Drools | Process Instances to view
the created process instances:
Writing automated test cases
jBPM runtime comes with a test utility, which serves as the unit testing framework
for automated test cases. The unit testing framework uses and extends the
capabilities of the JUnit testing framework and basically provides the JUnit life
cycle methods and the jBPM runtime environment for testing and tearing down
the runtime manager after test execution. Helper methods manage the knowledge
base and the knowledge session, getting workitem handlers and assertions to assert
process instances and various stages.
[ 47 ]
Building Your First BPM Application
For creating a JUnit test case, create a class extending org.jbpm.test.
We can initialize the jBPM runtime by using the previous steps and assert using the
helper methods provided by org.jbpm.test.JbpmJUnitBaseTestCase.
For example, we assert the completion of a process as follows:
assertProcessInstanceCompleted(processInstance.getId(), ksession);
The code for the introductory sample project is attached with the downloads
associated with this book.
Change management – updating
deployed process definitions
We have modeled a business process and deployed it; the application end users
will create process instances and fulfill their goals by using the business process.
Now, as the organization evolves, we need a change in the process; for example,
the organization has decided to add one more department. Therefore, we have
to update the associated business processes.
Technically, in jBPM, we cannot have an update in an already deployed process
definition; we need to have a workaround. jBPM suggests three strategies for a
process migration.
• Proceed: We will introduce the new process definition and retire the old
definition. Retiring should be taken care of by the application so that all
process instance calls for the process are redirected to the new process
• Abort: The existing process is aborted, and we can restart the process
instance with the updated process definition. We have to be very careful in
this approach if the changes are not compatible with the state of the process
instances. This can show abrupt behaviors depending on how complex your
process definition is.
• Transfer: The process instance is migrated to the new process definition;
that is, the states of the process instance and instances of activity should
be mapped. The jBPM out-of-the-box support provides a generic process
upgrade API, which can be used as an example.
These strategies can be discussed in detail and illustrated in the following chapters.
[ 48 ]
Chapter 2
This chapter would have given you the "Hello world" hands-on experience in jBPM.
With your jBPM installation ready, we can now dive deep into the details of the
functional components of jBPM.
With this chapter, we have come to an end to the introductory chapters of Mastering
jBPM. In the upcoming chapters, we will discuss the process designer, operation
management, and core engine architecture in detail.
[ 49 ]
Working with the Process
In the previous chapters, we were introduced to the concept of BPM and we got an
overview of the jBPM tool stack and the family along some hands-on experience to
build our first application using jBPM. The next four chapters will detail each jBPM
component that we have discussed so far and the remaining chapters will guide you
to customizing jBPM, integrating with the application architecture, and deploying a
production-ready BPM application.
The first step that a business analyst with requirements for an application in hand
would be the design and modeling of the business processes. This step is not often
straightforward and involves multiple artifacts apart from the business process flow
itself. This chapter will take us through the journey of designing a business process
with all its etiquettes and will simulate the business process to understand how the
designed business process would behave in a runtime environment.
The chapter guides you through the following:
• Business process modeling using BPM
• Data object modeling
• Using scripting and logic within BPM activities
• Modeling user interface forms that are attached to human activities in order
to take input from human actors
• Simulating a business process to understand its runtime characteristics
• Using web-based and Eclipse tooling to work on the same project, and to
collaborate between business users and technologists
[ 51 ]
Working with the Process Designer
We will discuss how to do the above primarily by using the web-based process
designer. Eclipse-based tooling is also discussed but briefly, highlighting only the
differences in performing modeling.
Web-based tooling
Web-based tooling for jBPM is an extension to the user interface framework provided
for the Drools Guvnor knowledge repository. The framework provides a platform
to create, maintain, and run multiple knowledge assets for a knowledge-based
application. The jBPM extension (which is named jBPM-WB, the short form for jBPM
workbench) uses the features of the platform to create and maintain applications and
leverage the capabilities of the platform to provide user interactions with knowledge
assets corresponding to the business process. This kind of abstraction helps the jBPM
workbench to easily integrate the assets of the other software in the family and create
an integrated development environment for the business logic integration platform.
In this section, we will focus on the asset editors for the knowledge assets that are
part of jBPM, namely business process definitions, process and task forms, and
data models.
Process modeling
The process designer provided with jBPM is an integrated environment to design,
validate, and simulate business processes. The following screenshot highlights six
distinct parts of the process designer:
Parts of jBPM process designer
[ 52 ]
Chapter 3
They are as follows:
• 1: Object library
• 2: Process canvas
• 3: Properties editor
• 4: Toolbar
• 5: Problem visualization screen
• 6: Metadata
Each of these parts is detailed in the following subsections.
The Object Library
The Object Library is a palette of constructs that are used to build business
processes. The Object Library holds largely the BPMN-compliant constructs. The
library is arranged as a drop-down menu with the categories of constructs serving
as the headings. Users creating a business process can choose a construct from the
palette and drop the construct in the process canvas. The following screenshot shows
the default object:
[ 53 ]
Working with the Process Designer
Apart from the BPMN constructs, the object repository also holds the workflow
patterns. We have discussed these workflow patterns in Chapter 1, Business Process
Modeling – Bridging Business and Technology, and they are solution templates for
frequently occurring process design scenarios.
A developer can choose to customize the object library by adding extended and
customized tasks; we can discuss these in the chapter exclusively for customization.
The process canvas
The process canvas is our workspace; we create the business process in this canvas
by dragging and dropping the BPMN constructs provided by the object library,
connecting and customizing them to create the desired business process. The process
designer helps us to create a technically deployable business process and to model
the aesthetics of diagramming by ordering and placing the objects, resizing the
objects, and changing the color patterns. The following screenshot shows a sample
business process designed using the process designer:
A useful tool, the community calls the morphing menu a great feature available
in the process canvas. Once you drag and drop and select the object, we can see a
tool menu around the object. The tools available in the menu will be different for
different objects. There are three menus, one each at the top, bottom, and right
of the object; they have a distinct collection of tools.
[ 54 ]
Chapter 3
The right part of the menu has tools that help the user to work primarily on the
process without always relying on the drag and drop feature of the object library.
The user can add a task or gateway object to the canvas, include the connector, add
an attachment, or add a data object. The following screenshot highlights the right
part of the menu.
The top part of the menu has utilities for the following:
• Adding the task to the process dictionary (this will be discussed in detail in
the subsequent section of the chapter)
• Viewing the Node Source, which helps in viewing the BPMN source of
the object
The preceding screenshot shows the top menu highlighted and a view of the Node
Source window, which shows the source of the task object.
The bottom menu contains the tooling for converting a BPMN object into a similar
counterpart. For example, we have placed a service task and have to change it to a
human task. We will have to delete the task, replace it with another task, and restore
the connections to it. Using this feature, and upon clicking the tool icon, we get a list
of objects that we can interchange, and by selecting another object, we can change
the object. This is a handy tool, particularly while maintaining a very large business
process flow.
[ 55 ]
Working with the Process Designer
The following image shows the menu of interchangeable objects on a task element:
Properties editor
Apart from the visible parts of a business process diagram, each object in the
business process has properties that can be customized. For example, in a human
task, we have to assign an actor or a group. The Properties editor helps the designer
to set these details. The Properties editor panel for each object can be obtained by
selecting the object. For setting the process level properties, we have to click on the
canvas itself.
The Properties editor panel has the following four sections:
• Core Properties: The Core properties section contains the properties that are
essential for a particular BPMN element.
• Extra Properties: Extra properties as the name indicates are properties
other than the core properties that are non-mandatory. For example,
documentation for a task.
• Graphical Settings: Properties that can be changed for improving the
aesthetics of the business process. The designers will have the flexibility
to change the background, border, font colors, and the font size.
[ 56 ]
Chapter 3
• Simulation Properties: Simulation properties are settings needed for creating
the process simulation. The details of these properties are discussed in the
Process Simulation section.
The preceding screenshot shows the property editor for a process, showing core,
extra, and simulation properties for a BPMN process.
The core and extra properties for each BPMN construct and the purpose are detailed
in Chapter 5, BPMN Constructs.
Toolbar contains a set of utilities that aid in creating and maintaining a business
process. Most of the utilities are common to any diagram editor (such as cut, paste,
save, rename, delete, and zoom) and provide advanced features such as form
modeling and process simulation.
[ 57 ]
Working with the Process Designer
Most of the tools are easily understandable from their names itself and may not need
a detailed discussion. We will discuss the specific functionalities that need attention
in the following sections.
Problem visualization
As we continue designing a business process, it is important to be informed about
the syntactic and semantic errors in our business process. The problems section
shows these errors in our application.
The following screenshot shows the errors from a BPMN process that has just
started; that is, it contains only the start node. The errors indicate that the start
node has no outgoing connection and the process does not have an end node:
Another provision included for the users is to visualize a problem in a specific
process. This provision switches the editor into the validation mode. It can be
accessed from the toolbar (refer to the following screenshot), and clicking on
Start validating will show a list of errors in the process:
Also, if the error is in a particular object, the object is highlighted. Click on the
highlighted object to get the list of errors.
The designer shows these errors by validating the business processes against a set of
preconfigured rules; these rules are customizable. (Please see Chapter 7, Customizing
and Extending jBPM for the customization techniques).
[ 58 ]
Chapter 3
The Metadata tab
The Metadata tab shows the details of the business process as an artifact. It contains
information such as the user who created and modified the artifact, the format of the
artifact, and so on. Also, there is a provision to have a discussion about the artifact,
which will be very useful in scenarios where we have a larger distributed team of
business analysts who create and manage the business processes.
Data object modeling
A part of business domain modeling is to identify all the entities in the problem
domain, the relationships between the entities, and their attributes. The data
associated with these entities are often collected, updated, and removed via business
processes. Thus, these entities become a part of our business process.
For example, Customer is a data entity that occurs in almost every business domain,
and customer creation (the process of adding a customer) is a very common business
process. JBPM provides data modeling features where these entities can be created as
data objects and be included in the business process.
Let us discuss data modeling with an example. We consider a very primitive
customer creation process with a human task to capture customer details and a
service task to call the customer creation service available. The image given below
shows the business process under discussion.
[ 59 ]
Working with the Process Designer
To create the Customer data object by using the process designer, follow these steps:
1. Log in to the workbench.
2. Go to Authoring | Project Authoring | Tools | Data Modeler and click the
Create button. The following screen pops up:
3. For creating the customer data object, give an identifier, a label, and the
package name for the unique identification of this data object.
Well, as you must have noticed, there is another (optional) field called Superclass.
This needs a bit of explanation on the technical side of how the data object is
considered in the design of jBPM.
The data object modeled by us is created as a Java object with the attributes specified
by us and included in the application as its dependency. The superclass points to
the inheritance feature of Java, and we can use this feature in scenarios where data
objects have parent–child relationships.
[ 60 ]
Chapter 3
After creating the data object, we can use the Create new field provision (see the
following screenshot) to add the attributes corresponding to the data object.
The following screenshot shows the name, age, and sex attributes added to the
Customer data object:
Save the data object. Now, we have to utilize the data object in the business process.
In the business process, we have a human task that captures the information of a
customer as its input and maps it to the output set of the task. For doing so, in the
process designer, add the customer objects as Type in the input and output set of
the human tasks.
The following screenshot shows the property editor for the Capture customer details
human task, where the customer data object is used:
[ 61 ]
Working with the Process Designer
Form modeling
Continuing the discussion with our example of primitive customer creation, the
next problem will be how to provide a user interface for the human task (capturing
customer information). Form modeling provides a solution for this scenario. A
business analyst can design a form that can be used to capture the information
attached to a task.
To be precise, the data collected through the form is mapped to the data output set of
the human task. When we run the Create customer business process, the "Capturing
customer information" task is assigned to an actor (or a group) and will be available
in the inbox. For completing the task, the user will have to enter the details into a
user interface that the engine renders by using the model of the form.
Creating a form
So, let us explore how to model a form for a task included in the business process.
1. In the Create customer process, select the Capturing customer
information task.
2. In the highlighted tool menu, the top part contains the tool for editing the
associated form. Click on the tool, and select graphic modeling; this takes
us to the form modeling screen:
[ 62 ]
Chapter 3
For modeling the form, first, we have to create the data origins, where we define the
mapping of data input sets to form variables and the form variables to data output
sets. In this scenario, we have to map the data input and the data output of the
customer variable.
We have to fill the Id, Input Id, and Output Id fields and choose the render color for
the form. Further, we have to select the data models that the form has to represent
and click Add data holder to add a data model as a data origin for the form.
The following screenshot shows the form modeling screen after adding the customer
data origin:
Now, we can model the look and feel of the form. For this, we choose the Add fields
by origin tab, where the data origins are listed and add to the form canvas the fields
attached in the customer data object (as shown in the following screenshot).
[ 63 ]
Working with the Process Designer
Select a field, use the toolbar to edit the field properties, and move the field around in
the form, to improve the aesthetics.
Setting the field properties
For each field included in the form, we can specify a set of properties that determine
its runtime behavior and its layout.
For using the Properties panel (as shown in the following screenshot), select the
field, and on the tool menu, click the edit button.
The properties include the following:
• Properties for validating data integrity
• Size of the input text
• Maximum characters supported
• Mandatory or not
• Read-only or not
• Password field or not
• Pattern of the data expressed as a regular expression
• Properties for specifying the look and feel
• CSS style of the label and the field
• Type of the field if the type of data has multiple user interfaces; for example,
string can be capture in a field or text area or by using a rich-text editor
[ 64 ]
Chapter 3
• Properties for data binding
• Properties for increasing usability
• Setting default values
• Inferring values using formulas
The following screenshot shows the Properties editor for the string type data:
Setting a default value
A general usability and productivity improvement technique in data entry screens
is to provide default values for the fields. The form modeler supports this feature by
using Java and XPath expressions.
XPath is a query language that can be used for selecting nodes in an XML
document. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XPath.
[ 65 ]
Working with the Process Designer
Suppose that in the customer creation process example, we have to default the field
sex to Male, assuming that there are more male customers in the problem domain
than female customers. So, in the Default value formula field of the property editor,
we can use the expression as given in the following screenshot:
Another common occurring scenario is to default a date field to the current date.
Inferring field values
Another feature that we require in a data entry screen is to populate the values
of some fields on the basis of the values of the other fields. For example, if we are
capturing the information of a product (say, a laptop), there will be multiple cost
components such as price, tax value, and discount. The total cost of the product is
derived from these three components. So, we can set the formula for calculating the
total cost by using an XPath expression referring to the fields for price, tax value,
and discount (see the following screenshot).
Making the field read-only would complete the trick.
In a form, it is common to contain multiple sections. For example, while capturing
customer information, we also need to capture the address information. Further,
there are two type of address: one is the permanent address and the other is the
communication address. Considering reusability in the form design, the most elegant
way of modeling this scenario will be to create a single address form and including it
twice in the Customer form.
[ 66 ]
Chapter 3
Form modeler supports this scenario by using a feature called subform, where
we can include one form in another. For achieving this, we have to create Address
form and we have to go to the Add field by type tab of Customer form and add
Simple Subform and choose the property of Default form as the already created
Multiple subforms
Yet another requirement is to have multiple objects of the same item in a form.
Consider a scenario of the order management process. We have to capture the
order information. An order typically consists of two parts: one is the order itself
having information such as who the requestor is and at what time the request was
made, and the other part is the requested item that consists of the product and the
quantity ordered. This can be multiple; that is, the requestor may have multiple
items in an order. A typical form to capture these details will be as given in the
following screenshot:
Furthermore, on clicking Add order Items, we will get a row of order items.
How do we model this scenario in the form modeler?
Follow the same method as that for the subform. Create data models for Order and
Item. Create forms for Order and Item. In Order form, use the Multiple subform
form type.
[ 67 ]
Working with the Process Designer
If we take the property editor of multiple subform, we will get a lot of options to
improve the look and feel of the form, to control what operations can be seen in the
form, and so on. Play around and get a good feel of it.
Process simulation
So far, we have discussed a lot about business process modeling and aids that jBPM
provides for it. The modeled process can now be deployed to know the runtime
characteristics. Wait! Don't we have to analyze and verify the characteristics of the
business process? JBPM provides tooling for analyzing the runtime characteristics
of a modeled business process, and this is called business process simulation.
Process simulation helps us to do the following:
• Optimize the business process design by pre-execution
• Understand the resource utilization of human actors involved in the
business process
• Understand the performance characteristics of the business process by
prediction and analysis
• Continuously improve the business process design by minimizing the errors
caused by a change
We can progress with the discussion on process simulation by using a sample
business process flow as shown in the following image. The process flow depicts
a business process for an online transaction, including the collection of customer
information, sending the one-time password, and validation of the password. The
consideration for choosing this process design for illustration was to have multiple
process paths:
[ 68 ]
Chapter 3
Process paths
The process paths feature helps the process designer to see all the possible
combinations of paths in the business process. This will help us to understand
any flaw in the logic we have used.
We can access the Process Paths tooling from the designer toolbar, as shown in the
following screenshot:
Select the Process Paths menu; it will calculate and list the paths that the process
flow can possibly take. Select one of the paths, and click Show Path to highlight
it in the process canvas:
The preceding screenshot shows the process with a path highlighted. This tool
becomes handy, particularly while designing complex business processes.
[ 69 ]
Working with the Process Designer
Simulation parameters
The process simulation engine needs some parameter inputs other than the
information available in the business process; these parameters collectively describe
or define the scenario of business process simulation. The parameters to be captured
for scenario creation vary with the type of business process elements in a business
process. For example, we need to capture the working hours with the human tasks
for simulating resource utilization.
Simulation properties can be changed using the property editor and vary when
selecting different process elements. The following screenshot shows the property
editor showing the simulation properties for a human task (Provide one-time
The following section details the simulation parameters that have to be set for
various process elements.
Process-level parameters
The process-level simulation properties are as follows:
• baseTimeunit: The unit of time used in the simulation scenario. All values
representing time will be considered to be expressed in this unit unless
overridden locally.
• baseCurrencyUnit: The base currency unit used in the simulation scenario
expressed using the ISO 4217 (three-letter code) standard. For example,
the US dollar is represented as USD. Similar to baseTimeUnit, all values
representing currency will be considered to be expressed in this unit unless
overridden locally.
ISO 4217 is an international standard, established for the purpose
of having internationally recognized codes for the representation
of currencies.
[ 70 ]
Chapter 3
Task-level parameters
The task-level simulation properties are as follows:
• unitCost (labeled as cost per time unit): This is the cost per time unit that
has to be paid for performing the task. The cost is expressed as the number of
baseCurrencyUnit properties per baseTimeUnit, and the default value
is zero.
• distributionType: This specifies the statistical distribution of the
processing time of this task over the period of execution of multiple instances
of the business process in the scenario.
The supported statistical distribution types in jBPM are as follows:
• Uniform distribution: Uniform distribution or rectangular distribution has
equal probability for all values between the minimum and the maximum
processing time values
• Normal distribution: It is one of the common distributions in nature
represented as a symmetric bell-shaped curve and is specified by the mean
and standard deviation values of the processing time
• Poison distribution: It is used to estimate the number of arrivals within a
given time and is specified by the mean processing time
For in-depth understanding of the distribution type, please
try understanding probability distributions; see http://
• staffAvailability: The quantity of resources available for the task and is
set to a default of 1. This parameter is applicable only to human tasks.
• workingHours: The working hours for a human resource. This parameter is
also applicable only to manual (human) tasks.
Flow element parameters
The simulation property attached to a sequence flow is probability, which is the
probability of the control being passed to this element. This is attached to the
sequence flow process element. If we specify a probability value of 50 percent to each
of the two sequence flows outgoing from a gateway, it means that the two sequence
flows are equally probable to occur.
[ 71 ]
Working with the Process Designer
Running simulation
Now, as we have discussed about setting the simulation properties, we can run
the simulation. The menu is available along with Process Paths in the process
designer toolbar:
We will be prompted to provide details such as the number of instances to be
simulated and the interval between process simulations. The simulation process is
asynchronous, and once completed, the simulation tab will be populated with the
simulation results.
Simulation results
The summary of the simulation is available on the right hand side of the simulation
tab. This contains the information of the simulation and a hierarchy for navigating
through the simulation results at different levels such as process, process elements,
and paths. The following screenshot shows the summary information for the
sample process:
[ 72 ]
Chapter 3
The results section is quite fleshy, with different types of charts to choose from that
represent data in multiple ways. Play around with the options there. The following
are the major datasets included in the simulation results:
Process simulation results: If we select the process (from the hierarchy shown) to
view the execution result, we can view the following:
• Execution times results: This shows the maximum, minimum, and average
time of execution.
• Activity instances: This shows the activity (task) instances created during
the simulation.
• Total cost: Shows the minimum, maximum, and average value of the
projected cost for the business process.
• The following image shows the execution time results of the online
transaction business process:
• Process element-wise simulation results: Select each process element in the
hierarchy to show the process element-wise simulation results. For service
tasks, this basically shows the minimum, maximum, and average values
of the execution time. Further, for human tasks, it also shows the resource
allocation details, wait time for resources, and the cost factor.
• Path simulation results: Path simulation results show the number of times
that the path has been executed and its percentage contribution.
[ 73 ]
Working with the Process Designer
Eclipse-based tooling
In the previous sections of this chapter, we have concentrated on modeling the process
and utilities available in the web-based tooling provided by jBPM. The web-based
tooling primarily focuses on the business analysts. Can the business analysts create
an application on their own? We must acknowledge that we are not yet there, but, of
course, there are only a few gaps left to reach that destiny. On today's course, we need
the help of technologists to create a completely functional application.
jBPM tooling considers this reality in the form of the updated Eclipse tooling that
helps developers to create a jBPM application or collaborate with the team of
business analysts to complete an application.
Importing a project created using
web-based tooling
In this chapter, we have discussed how to create a jBPM project by using Eclipse
tooling. Here, we will discuss how to import a project that was created in the process
designer (possibly by someone in the business analyst role) into Eclipse and continue
working on it.
The default implementation of the knowledge repository in jBPM utilizes Git, a
widely used source code management system. So, when we create a project by using
web-based tooling, it actually creates a project in Git. Git supports people to work
concurrently on a project, and this facility can be utilized for collaborative working
between users of web-based tooling and Eclipse tooling.
So, first, we should know the Git repository location that jBPM uses as the
knowledge repository for the sample project:
1. Log into web-based tooling, and go to the Project Authoring |
Administration menu. There will be a list of repositories and projects.
2. Select the project we want and we can see the Git repository URL. There will
be two URLs available: one using the git protocol and the other for the ssh
protocol. The screenshot of this section is as follows:
[ 74 ]
Chapter 3
3. Copy the URL using the tooling available.
4. Open Eclipse (that is installed with the jBPM installation).
5. Go to File | Import | Projects from Git, click Next, select URL, and click
Next. We will get the window shown in the following screenshot.
6. Enter the ssh URL and authentication details:
7. Proceed with the wizard and finish importing the project; in Eclipse Package
Explorer, we will get the project imported. The project structure is the Maven
project structure for a Java project. Explore and we can see the data object,
forms, and business processes that we have created:
[ 75 ]
Working with the Process Designer
Process modeling
Eclipse-based tooling comes with a BPMN diagram editor for modeling business
processes. The editor provides similar features as the web-based process designer.
It consists of a canvas where we can visually illustrate the business process, Palette,
which acts the BPMN object library, and the property editor for setting the properties
of each BPMN element. The following screenshot provides the BPMN diagram editor:
We are not discussing the features of the editor in detail as they are similar to the
features explained for web-based tooling.
Data object modeling
For data object modeling, jBPM doesn't provide any visual modeling tooling, but
the source code generated internally while creating a data object is provided to the
developer user. This source code is in Java, and the objects are represented as Plain
Old Java Object (POJO) and decorated using annotations from the knowledge API.
[ 76 ]
Chapter 3
The following screenshot shows Order.java created for the Order data object
created in the process designer:
Form modeling
Similar to data object modeling, developer tooling doesn't include any visual tooling
for form modeling but is available as a raw file that can be hacked by developers.
The files with the .form extension contain the properties within the form and the
files with the .ftl (which refers to FreeMarker template files) extension contain the
layout information of the form.
For more details on FreeMarker templates, see http://en.wikipedia.
[ 77 ]
Working with the Process Designer
Process simulation
There is no tooling as such available for process simulation, and the developers have
to rely on unit test cases and debugging tooling available for analyzing the runtime
characteristics of a process.
The view for writing unit test cases and process instances is discussed
in the Writing automated test cases section of Chapter 2, Building Your First
BPM Application.
Saving changes to the knowledge repository
In web-based tooling, saving the artifact would be reflected in the knowledge
repository. Eclipse-based tooling is a bit different in this aspect. The saved files will
reflect only in our local file system; for synchronizing with the knowledge repository
(here, the Git repository), we can use Eclipse tooling for commit and pushing to the
Git repository.
1. Right click on the project (Package Explorer), and go to Team | Commit. It
will take you to the commit screen shown in the following screenshot.
2. Select the artifacts to be moved to the repository, provide a commit
message, and use the Commit and Push button to push the changes
to the knowledge repository:
[ 78 ]
Chapter 3
The chapter focused on the tooling available for process design and covered in
detail the various features available in both web and Eclipse-based tooling, targeting
business users and technologists, respectively. The chapter also helps in getting
a hands-on experience of how both web and Eclipse-based tooling can be used
collaboratively in process design.
Now, as we have discussed process design in considerable detail, let us explore the
tooling available for operation management in the next chapter.
Also, Chapter 5, BPMN Constructs, can be considered an extension to process
designing, where we will discuss in detail each BPMN construct that can be
included in a business process.
[ 79 ]
Chapter 4
Operation Management
This chapter will illustrate all the tasks that are required to perform jBPM operations
by walking you through the following topics (focusing on the jBPM KIE workbench
and related tools):
• jBPM environment configuration: Git and Maven repositories, organizational
units, and user management with basic administration and permissions by
role-based access control (RBAC)
• New jBPM asset management feature and module deployment
• Process and task management
• jBPM auditing and history log analysis with a working example of BAM
• Job and command scheduling with jBPM Executor
This chapter requires a working knowledge of both Git and Maven, which play
a central role in the KIE workbench architecture. You will be asked to work with
Git and to deploy artifacts to Maven. Let us start by reviewing the typical software
architecture of a jBPM 6.2 development system with the aim to shed some light on
the new system components and the way they interact.
[ 81 ]
Operation Management
An overview of the KIE workbench, Git,
and Maven
At first, the jBPM 6.2 architecture may seem a bit hard to grasp, since several new
components have been integrated to provide the developers with industry standard
tools for making it easier to support source code management and building/
deployment. The jBPM platform integrates with the Git and Maven repositories so
that you can share Kie business assets and publish Kie modules to remote teams. Let
us see how Git and Maven fit into the Kie platform (shown in the following image).
The KIE workbench manages assets from its Kie Git repositories (either brand new
or cloned from remote repositories). All Kie Git repositories can be found in the
.niogit folder. The Kie deployment process installs the modules into the Kie Maven
repository (located in the repositories/kie folder). This repository is publicly
accessible via either the Git or the SSH protocol.
Working with Git
The KIE workbench enables us to create a new empty Git bare repository or to clone
a remote Git repository into a brand new Kie bare repository. However,
the workbench does not allow us to import assets into an existing branch of a
Kie repository.
"Bare" repositories exist in Git as a way of having a central (mainly
remote) repository that a number of people can push to. For details
on the bare Git repository, please see the official Git documentation.
[ 82 ]
Chapter 4
We can manage repositories from the Authoring | Administration menu
(Repository item). Let us now put Kie repositories to work.
Cloning a remote repository
We are going to clone the chapter 4-pizza example repository from GitHub.
It hosts two projects that we will use later in the chapter to experiment with the
deployment process. To clone a remote repository, open the Repositories | Clone
Repository dialog (see the following screenshot) and configure the parameters
as follows:
• Repository Name: chapter4-pizza
• Organizational Unit: Use the default provided by jBPM or create a new one
(This is not relevant at this stage; let us set its value to demo)
• Git URL: https://github.com/masteringjbpm6/chapter4-pizza.git
We have already said that both cloned and new repositories are placed in the
.niogit folder that you can find in the KIE installation folder. In addition, all KIE
repositories are shared by default at the following URL:
git://localhost:9418/{reposname} or ssh://localhost:8001/{reposname}
where {reposname} is the Repository Name that you provided in the dialog
window (for example, chapter4-pizza).
[ 83 ]
Operation Management
Never clone repositories from the KIE .niogit folder directly;
always use the repository URL.
The .niogit folder also contains the system.git Kie repository, which is used as a
store for metadata and settings; we will look at it in an upcoming section.
Making changes and committing
Modifying the project assets from the KIE workbench means that your changes are
going to be committed into the KIE Git repository. Let us edit the jBPM process
definition and see what happens upon saving the asset. Open the Authoring |
Project Authoring menu (Project Explorer) and change the path to demo/chapter4pizza/pizzadelivery; you should have the pizzadelivery process listed under the
Business Processes group (see the following screenshot).
Just drag and move, for instance, the process start node, and then, select the Save
menu item. The system prompts you with a Commit comment; enter workbench
editing and press OK. Now, if we go and check the .niogit/chapter4-pizza.git
repository and issue the following command:
git log
We can see the following two commits (the older commit was the one performed
during the GitHub repository initial creation, and the other is your last commit):
commit 165a0b07f1b50962696640bcb79072458f4c82d4
Author: admin <>
Sun Mar 22 11:33:16 2015 +0100
[ 84 ]
Chapter 4
workbench editing {/pizzadelivery/src/main/resources/pizzadelivery.
commit a32f9a2a9bc835e74abcb78348878d8d2fc96140
Author: admin <fiorini.s@gmail.com>
Mon Mar 23 07:48:50 2015 +0100
pizza commit
We can get the first commit files by specifying the commit ID:
git show --name-status -r a32f9a2a9bc835e74abcb78348878d8d2fc96140
Mon Mar 23 07:48:50 2015 +0100
pizza commit
Pushing to the remote repository
Let us now check the remote origin setting for our chapter4 repository first by using
the following command:
git remote -v
The following information is printed:
https://github.com/masteringjbpm6/chapter4-pizza.git (fetch)
https://github.com/masteringjbpm6/chapter4-pizza.git (push)
In order to update the remote origin GitHub branch (master), we issue the
following push:
git push origin master
Since the repository is protected, you will be prompted for the repository username
and password (we are using our account here):
Username for 'https://github.com': masteringjbpm6
Password for 'https://masteringjbpm6@github.com': *****
Removed for clarity…
To https://github.com/masteringjbpm6/chapter4-pizza.git
master -> master
The remote branch is finally updated.
[ 85 ]
Operation Management
For fixes and enhancements, we encourage you to contribute to our
example GitHub repository; in case you want to experiment with the
example projects on your own, please follow the next section.
New repository
By cloning our GitHub repository into a KIE repository, you cannot (as you are not a
contributor) send changes upstream. Apart from forking on GitHub, creating a new
empty Kie repository is the right choice if you want KIE to centrally manage your
projects. To do so, follow these steps:
1. Create a new KIE Git repository; remember to leave the Managed Repository
option unchecked for the moment, since this turns your repository into a
Maven aware repository making it hard to adjust it when projects are added
from an external source (we are going to address it in the Asset management
example paragraph).
2. Clone the remote GitHub repository from the command line, using your
preferred Git client.
3. Change your Git working copy remote origin to the new Kie repository.
4. Commit and push to the Kie repository master branch.
Please see the Git cloning and managed repository section
for a complete example of repository creation and
project setup from GitHub.
jBPM 6.2 introduces a distinction between the plain Git repository (unmanaged)
and a new kind of "smart" repository (managed) that we can create by setting the
Managed Repository option in the New Repository dialog window.
Managing assets – managed repositories
As we have seen, managing Git project sources and Maven with KIE might be
challenging: cloning, committing, setting repository remotes, pushing upstream,
and so on, and we did not even consider Git branching in our example. jBPM 6.2
simplifies the way repositories and project source code are managed by introducing
a new feature (asset management) designed to drive the development, build, and
release processes thanks to a set of jBPM workflow processes, which kick in at
various stages. Managed repositories, in short, provide project Maven version
control and Git branch management.
[ 86 ]
Chapter 4
Governance workflow
The asset management workflows are not fully automatic; they also require a
managing actor (who must be in the kiemgmt role; see the KIE workbench roles.
properties file) to complete specific tasks in order to make the workflow progress
(selecting assets to release and/or review) or present the user with informative data
(such as error data). The workflows trigger only when the following pre-defined
operations take place (remember, this only applies to managed repositories):
• Repository creation or configuration: After the Git repository is created
or when the repository Configure button is selected, the workflow can
automatically add a dev branch and a release branch for you (the master
branch is always the default one).
• Asset promotion: When a user thinks that his/her assets are ready to be
released, he/she can submit them for a so-called promotion by selecting the
Promote button. The promotion requires the managing user to select (Git
cherry picking) and approve the submitted changes by promoting them to
the Git release branch, or to delay the process for a later review.
• Project build: The user performs Build, selecting a specific repository
branch. The build involves the compiling and installing of the project as a
Maven module into the internal Kie repository.
• Release: The user performs Release. The release feature involves the
building and deploying processes at the repository level. All of your
repository projects are built and then, published to the Kie runtime (the
Deploy To Runtime option) so that business assets can be used. We can
only release from branches starting with the release label (for example,
Please check Chapter 9 of the jBPM 6.2 User Guide for
additional details on asset management workflows.
Git cloning and managed repository
jBPM 6.2 does not support importing into a managed repository; the naïve
solution mimics what we have seen in the (unmanaged) New repository paragraph
with slight variations; let us see how to import our GitHub chapter4-managed
repository projects:
Let us create a multi-module repository; the settings for each step are as follows:
1. Repository Name: ManagedVesuvio, and Organizational Unit: demo (not
relevant now).
[ 87 ]
Operation Management
2. Multi-project Repository (checked), Automatically Configure Branches
(checked), and Project Settings (leave defaults).
In Step 2, the specified Maven GAV will be the Maven
parent module GAV (demo:ManagedVesuvio:1.0.0SNAPSHOT). Two additional branches are created: dev1.0.0 and release-1.0.0. If we were not selecting
automatic branch management, only the default master
branch would be available and the repository could
not be released as a whole (see the Releasing section for
additional hints).
3. Clone the chapter4-managed example projects:
git clone https://github.com/masteringjbpm6/chapter4-managed.git
4. Add a new remote named kievesuvio (or if you prefer, replace the origin):
git remote add kievesuvio ssh://admin@localhost:8001/
5. Change into the chapter4-managed folder, and add the files and commit:
git add .
git commit -m "first Kie managed commit"
6. Get updates from the master branch and push to the KIE ManagedVesuvio
dev-1.0.0 branch:
git pull kievesuvio master
git push kievesuvio master:dev-1.0.0
• At this stage, the dev-1.0.0 branch is updated, but our ManagedVesuvio
repository structure is not aware of the branch changes while the KIE Project
Explorer is. This is due to the fact that the repository structure shows the
Maven multi-module configuration (more details in the Managed repository
and Maven section) and that its pom.xml file is stale. We have to add the
napoli and vesuvio projects manually to it.
7. In File Explorer (Authoring | Administration), click on pom.xml and add the
<modules> element as follows:
[ 88 ]
Chapter 4
After saving the file, KIE should pick up the projects and the repository structure
should display our modules.
The repository is now properly configured, and we are ready to tackle the asset
management features.
Asset management example
The napoli and vesuvio projects each contain a basic process definition. The
napoli process (napoli.bpmn2) includes the vesuvio process (vesuvio.bpmn2) as
a reusable sub-process (more on BPMN2 elements in Chapter 5, BPMN Constructs).
The users perform asset management tasks by selecting the appropriate button in
the Repository | Repository Structure view (see the following screenshot) and by
completing human tasks in the Task | Task List window.
The asset management tasks are assigned to users owning the kiemgmt role only;
therefore, ensure that you log into the KIE workbench with the admin user since this
is the only preset user owning this role.
Promoting assets
We submit the assets (the napoli and vesuvio modules) for promotion to the
release branch:
1. Select Project | Authoring and Repository | Repository Structure; select the
Promote button and enter the target branch: release-1.0.0.
[ 89 ]
Operation Management
2. In the Tasks | Task List window, you should now be assigned a Select
Assets to Promote task; click on it, Claim the task, Promote All assets, and
Complete the task as shown in the following screenshot:
3. Head back to Repository Structure, and by selecting the release-1.0.0
branch, you should see the two promoted projects.
Assets are now merged into the Git repository
release-1.0.0 branch.
In Repository Structure, select the release-1.0.0 branch and press the Release
button. Optionally, bump the Release Version for the module, toggle Deploy to
Runtime (user: admin, password: admin, Server URL: default), and then proceed.
napoli and vesuvio are now installed into the KIE Maven
repository, and you can find them among your Authoring | Artifact
Repository artifacts. In case you selected Deploy to Runtime, the
contained process definitions would be made available in Process
Management | Process Definitions.
Building (single project)
The release process always runs through a build process for all the managed
repository projects; the build/release process can also be performed, for all kind of
repositories (managed/unmanaged), on the single project by the Build menu:
• Build & Install: Deploy the artifact to the Kie repository and the system
Maven repository (if any)
[ 90 ]
Chapter 4
• Build & Deploy: Perform the install step (see previously), and then,
deploy the module to the Kie runtime: business artifacts are available
for runtime usage
• We will discuss more on deployments in the KIE deployments section
Asset versioning history
All Git versioning information for the assets is available in the Overview tab. For
instance, by clicking on the napoli process, we can see all the commit logs and we
can load the previous Git versions for the assets with the Select and Current buttons
(see the following screenshot; the comments may vary).
Managed repository and Maven
The managed Git repositories are themselves stored as Maven modules in the
repositories/kie repository. They can be Single Project or Multi-Project
repositories; this affects the way that the Mavenized Kie projects are configured.
• The Single Project repository contains a single Kie Maven project
• The Multi-Project repository contains a Maven multi-module project
The parent module pom.xml file shows that it is a pom (multi) module containing the
napoli and vesuvio modules:
[ 91 ]
Operation Management
The napoli module pom.xml file shows that it depends on the vesuvio module:
Please refer to http://maven.apache.org/guides/mini/
guide-multiple-modules.html for an introduction to Maven
multi-module management.
Governance process definitions
The jBPM asset management process definitions and their related business logic can be
found in the Drools project called guvnor-asset-mgmt. This module is pre-deployed
and is loaded by the KIE workbench; it is regularly listed in Artifact Repository,
and you can find its process definitions in the Deployments | Process Deployments
window and their running instances in the Process Instances window.
[ 92 ]
Chapter 4
A final note
The KIE workbench project editor only lets you edit, build, and release the proper
Kie modules and not plain Maven modules (which lack the kmodule.xml file). So, if
you only have a single Kie module, it does not make much sense to clone a bunch of
modules into a Kie multi-project managed repository; try to design your repository
content with a grain of salt so that your Kie runtime and development environment
is always clean and healthy. Now, instead of using the KIE workbench to complete
the configuration for our next example (left for an exercise to the reader), we switch
to an alternative tool, the KIE CLI (which stands for command line interface), and see
different ways to perform the common operation tasks.
An overview of the kie-config-cli tool
Chapter 2, Building Your First BPM Application (see the Creating your first jBPM project
section) introduced several KIE console features (repositories and organizations
management, module deployment, and so on). The KIE CLI utility provides the
administrator/user with the tools to perform common tasks related to organizational
units, repository, user permissions, and deployment management at the console/
shell level.
The tool project is hosted at GitHub: https://github.com/
You can download the tool distributions from the JBoss snapshot
Maven repository:
The previous section explained in detail how KIE handles Git repositories for source
projects, and we previewed the existence of a KIE system Git repository; the KIE CLI
tool interfaces with it and operates in two modes:
• online (default and recommended): Upon startup, it connects to the system
repository by using the Git service embedded in kie-wb. All changes
are local and published to the upstream only when the push-changes
CLI command is explicitly executed. The exit command will publish all
local changes; to discard local changes upon exiting the CLI, the discard
command shall be used
• offline: Creates and manipulates the Kie system repository directly on the
server (no discard option is available)
[ 93 ]
Operation Management
The system repository stores the private configuration/settings data for the KIE
workbench: how editors behave, organizational groups, security, and so on.
The system repository is located in the KIE .niogit folder (.niogit/system.git).
The core Git backend features are provided by the Red Hat Uberfire
framework. http://www.uberfireframework.org.
By default, the KIE workbench monitors the system.git repository changes, thanks
to its backend services, and updates its UI accordingly. We will continue our system
repository description in the next section after our next example environment has
been set up. We could have accomplished the job through the KIE workbench
features, but we want you to go hands on and put the KIE console at work, getting
acquainted in what is going on behind the curtains.
Connecting (online mode)
After launching the tool (by the kie-config-cli script in the installation folder), let
us start by connecting to the KIE system repository on the localhost.
SSH is to be preferred over the Git protocol for security reasons.
************* Welcome to Kie config CLI ****************
>>Please specify location of remote Git system repository [ssh://
>>Please enter username:
>>Please enter password:
Creating an organizational unit
The organizational unit is required by the KIE workbench in order to create
repositories and users and have RBAC rule control that is entitled to perform
certain tasks.
>>Organizational Unit name:packt
[ 94 ]
Chapter 4
>>Organizational Unit owner:admin@packt.org
>>Default Group Id for this Organizational Unit:com.packt
>>Repositories (comma separated list):
Organizational Unit packt successfully created
Creating a repository
We have already seen how to clone a Git repository from the KIE workbench. Let
us now create a new Git repository (local, bare, and unmanaged; no username/
password required) in which we can store our new projects.
>>Repository alias:masteringjbpm6
>>Remote origin:
Repository with alias masterjbpm6 has been successfully created
Defining role-based access control rules
To complete the setup procedure for our example, we set some RBAC rules to our
masterjbm6 repository; the organization has no roles set, so in order to constrain the
access to the repository, we add roles to the repository object:
>>Repository alias:masteringjbpm6
>>Security roles (comma separated list):user, analyst
Role user added successfully to repository masterjbpm6
Role analyst added successfully to repository masterjbpm6
Adding jBPM console users
users.properties and roles.properties define the users (with their roles) that
are enabled to log into the jBPM console.
Let us edit users.properties and add two new users:
[ 95 ]
Operation Management
Edit roles.properties and associate the users with the roles that we have created
in the previous step:
Adding the repository to an organization
Each KIE Git repository must be bound to an organization; the organization is
in charge of controlling accesses to it and giving organization users operation
>>Organizational Unit name:packt
>>Repository alias:masteringjbpm6
Repository masteringjbpm6 was successfully added to Organizational Unit
Pushing changes to system.git
The push-changes command sends changes to the KIE system.git repository:
>>Pushed successfully
As a consequence, your KIE workbench gets a refresh, displaying the updated
settings on your UI.
More on the system.git repository
At this point, you should have an idea of what the system.git repository is for; as a
final exercise, let us clone it and have a look inside it:
git clone file:///$JBPM_HOME/.niogit/system.git
Remember to never push changes to system repository from
outside the KIE CLI tool; it would likely mess up the entire KIE
workbench installation!
[ 96 ]
Chapter 4
The system repository contains some entities (organizational units and repositories)
and internal configuration files; here, we can find our brand new organization and
repository description files:
• masteringjbpm6.repository
• packt.organizationalunit
The masteringjbpm6.repository file content is as follows (please note the
security:role settings):
<value class="string">Git</value>
<value class="list">
<value class="string">master</value>
Now that we are done with our new KIE Git repositories and environment
configuration, we are ready to tackle the new deployment feature and the Kie-Maven
integration, the subject of our next example.
[ 97 ]
Operation Management
KIE deployments
The jBPM 6 platform introduced a brand new deployment process; the previous
proprietary mechanism that leveraged the Guvnor packages (backed by a Java
Content Repository (JCR) and the Drools KnowledgeAgent (changeset.xml)
was replaced with the widely adopted Apache Maven tool. This greatly improved
the development process both in terms of tool configuration (more convention/
configuration oriented) and support, standardization, and deployment flexibility.
When you deploy your project, you physically create a KIE deployment unit (KJAR);
this module is a Maven-enabled project and is a compressed standard Java archive
that contains all the project's business assets (processes, workitem handlers, business
rules, forms, and so on) as well as its knowledge session and runtime declarative
metadata descriptor (META-INF/kmodule.xml).
The kmodule.xml file is extensively covered in the official jBPM
and Drools documentation.
The unique ID of a KIE module is built starting from its Maven GAV (GroupId,
ArtifactId, Version) with the addition of the knowledge base name (the default
knowledge base name is empty; we will return to this in Chapter 6, Core Architecture),
for example:
The jBPM runtime resolves KJAR dependencies while automatically searching for
other Maven modules in the configured Maven repositories (either by the project
pom.xml file embedded in the KIE JAR or through the Maven settings.xml file)
using the Drools KIE-CI components. You can alternatively use the kie.maven.
settings.custom system property and point to any Maven settings.xml file.
Refer to Chapter 6, Core Architecture, particularly to the Repositories
and scanner section, for detailed information on class loading and
resolving module dependencies at runtime.
The default KIE Maven repository artifacts (the repositories/kie folder) are
remotely accessible at the following URL: http://{jbpmconsole-host}:{port}/
[ 98 ]
Chapter 4
Let us now summarize the core actions that are performed during the
deployment process:
• Maven install of the module into the KIE Maven repository
• Maven deploy of the module into your system Maven repository (the Maven
settings.xml file from the Maven home is used, or the kie.maven.
settings.custom system property is checked).
• The jBPM database table called DeploymentStore is updated with the
deployment descriptor (in the XML format). This change has been introduced
with the jBPM 6.2 release; prior to this, the deployment information was
stored inside the system.git repository.
The release/deployment action never deploys the Kie
module's dependencies; to avoid missing dependencies
runtime errors, you have to provide the correct
dependency artifacts by installing them into the Maven
repository before you put your Kie module assets to work.
The following figure captures the standard Maven repository configuration when
working with the KIE console; the KIE project is deployed into the internal KIE
Maven repository first, which synchronizes with the remote Maven Repository, and
then, it provides remote public access (HTTP) to any application in order to resolve
its dependencies.
[ 99 ]
Operation Management
Artifacts and KIE modules
A KIE module may depend on a number of additional Maven artifacts. The KIE
workbench provides you with a view of your KIE Maven repository by selecting the
Authoring | Artifact Repository menu item. The Path column displays the Maven
repository URL for the artifact; just to clarify, let us have a look at the napoli Kie
module that we released from our ManagedVesuvio repository:
Artifact Name: napoli-1.0.0.jar
Path: packt/napoli/1.0.0-SNAPSHOT/napoli-1.0.0.jar
This artifact is available at the following Maven artifact URL:
Remember that while Artifact Repository is a snapshot of the KIE Maven repository
content, the KIE Deploy | Deployments menu item exclusively displays the valid
KIE modules (KJARs), which are loaded and validated from the KIE console runtime.
org.guvnor.m2repo.dir: System properties set the path
where the Maven repository folder will be stored; the default is
Deployment options
The KJAR artifacts must always be deployed to the KIE console's Maven repository
so that we can centrally manage them and have the console behave consistently.
Given this, thanks to both the introduction of the Maven repository style and the
new breed of tools (the KIE console and the Eclipse BPMN tools), you can tailor
the deployment process to your development environment with a nice degree
of flexibility.
Here you have some viable deployment options:
• Create a project (Mavenized by default) from the KIE console into a
configured KIE Git repository; Git clone and pull from Eclipse, continue the
development from Eclipse (add business models and so on), push changes to
KIE (the KIE console automatically refreshes its repository view); build and
deploy from KIE.
[ 100 ]
Chapter 4
• Create a Maven project from Eclipse (remember to add the kmodule.xml file
and the jBPM dependencies in pom.xml); create all your business artifacts,
and develop a unit test from Eclipse; push to KIE; maybe make some fixes
from KIE and then build and deploy.
• Create a Maven project from Eclipse as in the previous solution; install with
Maven (either from Eclipse or from the command line); have the KIE console
advertise the new KIE deployment module uploading the new artifact from
the console (Deploy | Deployments).
• From the Kie console, create a repository clone from a remote Git repository;
create a project, add assets, and then, save and commit. Deploy to Maven and
push changes to the remote Git repository.
• Thanks to its Maven and Git integration, the KIE platform can fit very
flexibly into a complex development environment.
Deployment by example – the Pizza projects
We had a preview of installing and deploying with the ManagedVesuvio repository
release process where two KIE modules (one is dependent on the other) were released.
Let us go hands on with a different module example: a KIE module (main project) and
a plain module (dependency). These pizza example projects are as follows:
• Pizzadelivery: The KJAR module (it contains the process definition)
• Pizzamodel: A utility project with Java classes that model our business
objects (Order, Pizza, and so on)
The Pizzadelivery project depends upon the Pizzamodel project. Let us start by
reviewing the example process definition (we will use the same process for our BAM
example solution later, in the closing paragraph).
The process definition – pizzadelivery
The example process definition captures a typical takeaway pizza process:
1. An order is placed and Nino manages the incoming order by phone (the
Handle Incoming Order task).
2. Maria gets the order details from Nino and hands off a sticky note to the
pizza makers (the Order Assignment task).
[ 101 ]
Operation Management
3. A pizza maker (either Mario or Luigi) starts preparing the pizza (the Make
the Pizza task), while, at the same time, Maria assigns the order delivery to a
pizza boy (the Assign the Delivery task). The completion of both the delivery
assignment task and the making pizza task (parallel tasks, more on this in
Chapter 5, BPMN Constructs) means that the pizza is ready to be delivered.
4. Salvatore delivers the pizza (the Pizza Delivery task).
Deploying pizzas
First, we make the dependency available through Maven, and then, we deploy the
module through the KIE workbench. Let us import the sources into our new KIE
repository (the one we set up in the Creating a repository section).
Git and project configuration
At this stage, you should be quite familiar with importing a source project into the
KIE repository:
1. Clone the examples repository from our example GitHub repository:
git clone https://github.com/masteringjbpm6/chapter4-pizza.git
[ 102 ]
Chapter 4
2. Add the cloned repository projects to the local (unmanaged)
masteringjbpm6 repository section:
git remote remove origin
git remote add origin ssh://localhost:8001/masteringjbpm6/
3. By issuing a git remote command, we see the following:
$ git remote -v
origin ssh://admin@localhost:8001/masteringjbpm6 (fetch)
origin ssh://admin@localhost:8001/masteringjbpm6 (push)
4. Let's now push only the sample KIE module project to the new remote (origin):
git add pizzadelivery
git commit –m "pizzadelivery: first kjar"
git push -u origin master
The aim here is to send the KIE console (through Git) only the KIE project, and
not to create additional sources of issues. We are now going to provide the KIE
pizzadelivery project Maven dependencies (pizzamodel.jar) through our
Maven repository.
Deploying the dependency
By switching to Project Authoring | Project Explorer, we can find the PizzaDelivery
project (navigate through the packt/masteringjbpm6 repository breadcrumb).
Press the Open Project Editor button, and by selecting the Project Settings |
Dependencies item from the dropdown list, we see that the pizzadelivery module
depends on the pizzamodel artifact (see the picture below), which is not present in
the Maven repository yet.
[ 103 ]
Operation Management
The Messages tab reports this issue, accordingly:
Unresolved dependency com.packt.masterjbpm6:pizzamodel:1.0.0-SNAPSHOT
Providing artifacts
What is going on now should be clear: the KIE dependency mechanism (the
"scanner" we will talk about it in Chapter 6, Core Architecture) cannot resolve the
pizzadelivery project's dependencies (loaded from its pom.xml file) while scanning
through the available Maven repositories; to address the issue, we are going to
supply the missing artifact with two steps:
1. Maven install: Executing an mvn clean install at the pizzamodel project
root (or using the Eclipse Run As Maven Build integrated feature) performs
the build and install of the artifact in our Maven repository so that the
dependency can be resolved at runtime.
2. Artifact repository upload: Go to the Kie console Authoring | Artifact
Repository page and click the Upload button; select the pizzamodel JAR
file from your Maven repository folder (com/packt/masterjbpm6). The KIE
console will copy the artifact to its internal Maven repository.
The artifact is now available, and if you hit the Refresh button in the Messages
panel, the issue should be fixed.
We are now ready to deploy. In the Projects Explorer tab, select the Tools | Project
Editor menu item. Check whether the PizzaDelivery module Maven GAV
properties are correct and click the Build & Deploy button.
[ 104 ]
Chapter 4
Please note that during deployment, the KIE console will try to resolve and verify
all of your project dependencies, potentially hitting a number of remote Maven
repositories (depending on your configuration) and taking some time to finish.
Ensure that your Internet connection is active or set up a Maven proxy repository
(highly recommended).
The application server console traces the following information:
18:32:33,517 INFO [org.drools.compiler.kie.builder.impl.
KieRepositoryImpl] (default task-106) KieModule was added:
18:32:34,547 INFO [org.jbpm.console.ng.bd.backend.server.
DeploymentManagerEntryPointImpl] (default task-106) Deploying unit com.
18:32:35,969 INFO [org.jbpm.kie.services.impl.store.
DeploymentSynchronizer] (default task-106) Deployment unit com.packt.
masterjbpm6:pizzadelivery:1.0 stored successfully
Remember that you cannot deploy a deployment unit having the same
ID (overwriting it), irrespective of whether it has active (running) process
instances or not; an undeploy action is required (see the next section).
[ 105 ]
Operation Management
The logs confirm that the deployment was successfully completed; we can see our
KJAR module listed in the Deploy | Deployments tab. Remember that for the
deployment process to succeed (at least with jBPM releases up to 6.2), your kmodule.
xml must either:
• Declare an empty <kmodule> element
• Declare a <ksession> element with the following attributes:
type="stateful" default="true"
For the sake of thoroughness, check your jBPM data store for the deployment entry
in the DEPLOYMENTSTORE table; we should see that a new row has been added.
The table row has a DEPLOYMENTID column: com.packt.
masterjbpm6:pizzadelivery:1.0.0 and a DEPLOYMENTUNIT column, which
contains the actual deployment descriptor:
This is, actually, the third step of the deployment process (see the KIE
deployments section).
Adding a KIE module manually
Even though you have built and installed your KIE module from outside the KIE
workbench (to your system Maven repository only, maybe using Eclipse IDE and
a Maven install goal), you can always deploy it to KIE later. Manually adding a
deployment unit means that you are making this (Maven installed) module available
to the KIE runtime. From the Deploy | Deployments perspective, you can add new
deployment units (the New Deployment button); just provide the Maven GAV
for the project you want to deploy and, optionally, the knowledge base and the
knowledge session name.
[ 106 ]
Chapter 4
In addition to this, you can select the ksession runtime strategy
that fits your requirements: a Singleton, Per Request, or Per Process
instance (See Chapter 6, Core Architecture for runtime strategies).
The KIE workbench will provide a new kmodule.xml file and meta information,
converting your plain JAR module to a new KIE module. You cannot create a
new deployment unit if the matching Maven artifact is not available in the
KIE Maven repository.
Process and task management applied – the
PizzaDelivery process
The KIE workbench allows you to manage process instances and interact with
process tasks. You can do the following:
• Send a signal to a specific process instance or a bulk signal (broadcast to all
process instances).
• Abort a specific process instance or perform a bulk abort—the abort
terminates the instance(s) and all the pending tasks. All data pertaining to the
process and its tasks are removed from the jBPM database tables.
• Get the process details— the details page includes the auditing log taken
from the default jBPM database auditing tables (we will talk about auditing
in the last section and in Chapter 6, Core Architecture).
• Start, release, and complete a task.
Starting the Process
Open the Process Management | Process Definitions tab and click the Start icon
button next to our brand new deployed PizzaDelivery process definition; a new
process instance starts.
The undeployment action removes the deployment unit's configuration file only
from the jBPM database table, leaving the Maven artifact in place.
[ 107 ]
Operation Management
User management
We introduced the PizzaDelivery process in the example setup section; the process
requires five different human actors:
• Incoming orders management: Nino
• Order assignments: Maria
• Pizza cooking: Either Mario or Luigi
• Delivery assignments: Maria
• Pizza deliveries: Salvatore
In order to use the KIE console to exercise our first process instance, we need to add
these process participants (the actors) to the KIE runtime. Edit the user.properties
and the roles.properties files in the $JBOSS_HOME\standalone\configuration
folder; these users will be automatically added by the KIE workbench to the task
service database table (ORGANIZATIONALENTITY, more on this in Chapter 6, Core
Add the actors (specify the authentication password) to the user.properties file:
Specify a role for the users in the roles.properties file (the default role user is
enough to perform tasks):
There is no need to restart the application server to make it
pick up the new settings.
[ 108 ]
Chapter 4
Task management
To complete the process instance, perform the steps in the following order:
• Log in as Nino: start and complete the Handle Incoming Order task
• Log in as Maria: claim and complete the Assign Order task
• Log in as Mario (or Luigi): claim and complete the Make Pizza task
• Log in as Maria: claim and complete the Assign Delivery task
• Log in as Salvatore: claim and complete the Deliver the pizza task
All tasks are completed. The process instance ends and looking at the process
instance detail tab, we can see the instance log traces (events are displayed in the
reverse chronological order):
Instance log:
deliver the pizza (HumanTaskNode)
make the pizza (HumanTaskNode)
assign the delivery (HumanTaskNode)
Assign the order (HumanTaskNode)
Handle Incoming Order (HumanTaskNode)
Receive Pizza Order (StartNode)
The Split log traces the activation of the parallel diverging gateway. The Join logs
trace the activation of the parallel converging gateway's incoming connections. The
trace logs are loaded from the NODEINSTANCELOG table.
As you may have realized, it is not that easy to perform a full test of a process
definition from within the KIE workbench; switching from actors back and forth is a
cumbersome and time-consuming task…just think about a complex process with a
lot of human tasks and actors or groups. We will see how to overcome these issues
by using test automation with the BAM example and in the next chapter.
[ 109 ]
Operation Management
Managing jobs and asynchronous
commands' execution
Starting from jBPM 6, the platform features a new scheduler service (called
Executor), which lets you schedule, execute, and manage asynchronous jobs tasks.
Executor can be used either as a general-purpose Java batch scheduling facility or as
a service able to execute asynchronous process tasks (see Chapter 5, BPMN constructs,
the Async task section for more details). The asset management feature, for instance,
internally schedules different types of commands (to get an idea, open the Deploy
| Jobs window, as shown in the following screenshot): CreateBranchCommand,
ListCommitsCommand, BuildProjectCommand, MavenDeployProjectCommand,
and so on.
The Executor service executes preconfigured Command classes; a Command is a
Java class that executes a set of business statements running outside the jBPM
process context and communicating with Executor through a set of interfaces
(CommandContext and ExecutionResults), which enforce parameter passing.
The Job classes are persisted in the REQUESTINFO jBPM database table, while the
resulting errors problems are persisted in the ERRORINFO table.
Creating, scheduling, and launching a
new Job
The plain and simple, general-purpose Job definition (no jBPM context available)
requires you to provide at least the class name for the class to schedule (see the
following screenshot).
[ 110 ]
Chapter 4
1. Type the class name com.packt.masterjbpm6.command.SimpleCommand
into the Type field and SimpleCommand in the Name field. The Job class must
be in the classpath for the KIE workbench application (jbpm-console.war),
so either copy the pizzamodel.jar file in WEB-INF/lib for the exploded
WAR or copy it in the dependencies folder of the jBPM setup folder and
rebuild the console app by using the Ant target install.jBPM-console.
into.jboss you can find in the jBPM build.xml file.
2. Set the Due On (schedule) time and, optionally, the number of Retries
(the number of times the Job class can be restarted after failure), and
the parameters.
3. The parameters (the contextual data) are passed upon execution to the Job
instance through the CommandContext class. Parameters must be serializable.
After being created, the task turns into the QUEUED state (as shown in the following
screenshot) and will be executed at the scheduled time. The different Job statuses are
[ 111 ]
Operation Management
Process definition conversion
Conversion deals with moving a process definition from an old version format to a
new version format. jBPM 6 gives us some (pretty much experimental) options when
upgrading older process definitions to a new jBPM release format:
• Importing from the old proprietary jBPM JPDL 3/4 to BPMN2 with the jBPM
web process designer menu function
• Ad hoc migration with jBPM5migrationtoolproject and
jbpmmigration-0.13.jar or a newer release (API mapping is also supported)
The goal of the jBPM5migrationtoolproject project is to provide some migration
tooling to the existing users of jBPM for moving from jBPM5.
The project home and Wiki pages are available here: https://
The project is hosted on GitHub: https://github.com/
Process definition versioning and instance
Depending on enterprise business requirements and business organizations, the
processes may change at a very variable rate over time; several business migration
cases need to be addressed:
• A complex critical business process may take months to complete (maybe
due to manual tasks), yet the business staff needs to make an updated
process definition available as soon as possible because some old legacy
systems must be integrated into the flow
• The process definition needs a fix but a number of instances of that very same
process definition are active and we do not want to abort them and have the
user restart the workflow from the beginning
Apart from bumping the process definition version property (numeric), which is just
a mnemonic and does not affect the process instance behavior, it's good practice to
name your process ID (string) in order to reflect the version number, since the engine
itself does not provide any version tracking mechanism, for example:
[ 112 ]
Chapter 4
This way you can have a flexible method of switching instantiations across different
versions of the process definition while preserving auditing data and maintaining
separation. Each instance is, in fact, bound to its process definition (by the ID), and
this must not be overwritten until the instance is completed.
To support users in migrating a process instance across different process definitions,
jBPM 6 features the WorkflowProcessInstanceUpgrader class.
The WorkflowProcessInstanceUpgrader.upgradeProcessInstance method first
disconnects the process instance from the signals, and event handler management
then traverses the process instance node-by-node trying to map the nodes to the
target process definition nodes by getting uniqueID from the mapping data that
you provide.
uniqueID is an internal identifier generated by the engine by concatenating the IDs
of the parent (container) elements of the node, for example:
// create the node mapping data
Map<String, Long> mapping = new HashMap<String, Long>();
// top level node 1 must be mapped to a new node with id 2
mapping.put("1", 2L);
// node 3, which is inside a composite node 4, must be mapped to a new
node with id 5
mapping.put("4.3", 5L);
// upgrade old processInstance to a new process instance definition
with id= com.packt.masteringjbpm6.pizzadelivery_v1_1
WorkflowProcessInstanceUpgrader.upgradeProcessInstance( ksession,
This solution is, all in all, far from complete for complex process definitions; you are
suggested to implement your own process migration whenever possible.
The business activity monitor (BAM) provides the tools to build out of the system,
customizable KPI, which are useful for the management staff in taking proactive
decisions. The term was defined by Gartner Inc. (http://www.gartner.com/
it-glossary/bam-business-activity-monitoring) and refers to the real-time
aggregation, analysis, and representations of the enterprise data (possibly relating it
to the system stakeholders and the customers).
[ 113 ]
Operation Management
The BAM's target is to produce (near) real-time information about the status and the
outcome of the operations, processes, and transactions of a jBPM business system;
this supports the corporate management staff in taking reactive decisions (Decision
Support System (DSS)), and it helps staff to identify critical areas (possible sources
of problems).
Examples include the following:
• Enterprises with a JIT production business model must constantly monitor
their manufacturing and procurement processes and relate them to incoming
orders and business providers
• Telco companies need to overview their services, providing operations in
order to have an up-to-the-minute view of their customers
BAM typically needs to be integrated with BI/data warehouse tools; the first breed of
tools is real time (data-oriented heterogeneous sources), while the second is historical
business data. With the advent of NoSQL database engines, big data, and cloudbased platforms, this trend is today rapidly shifting away and turning to a new
breed of tools handling streaming processing (real time) as well as batch processing
(Complex Event Processing (CEP)).
The primary jBPM source for BAM data is the engine audit service and the jBPM
database tables.
Audit data may be relevant for some business systems and useless for others. The
auditing and logging history data could be a demanding task for your system/
platform software and be very expensive in terms of I/O and/or allocated resources
(disk space, DB resources, and so on). The jBPM audit logging service database
schema is just a default implementation; the type and amount of the default audit
data may not meet your needs, and your business application might require a finer
(or just different) level of information to be captured.
The jBPM audit service module (jbpm-audit-6.2.0.jar) provides the
implementers with two ways to produce audit data by collecting the engine events:
• JPA: Synchronous logger that is bound to the engine transaction and persists
audit events as part of a runtime engine transaction
• JMS: Asynchronous logger that can be configured to place messages on the
queue either with respect to active transaction (only after the transaction is
committed) or directly as they are generated
[ 114 ]
Chapter 4
Please refer to Chapter 6, Core Architecture, for a thorough
explanation of the jBPM auditing and logging services.
Carefully evaluate the impact of the required audit service granularity on the
engine performance and plan your implementation accordingly; for production
environments, consider the following:
• Use a different database from the engine DB for your auditing data; this
facilitates the DB management tasks (for example, no Foreign Key issues)
• Use asynchronous event processing for better throughput
Where audit data really matters, some systems typically require the process history
log to be maintained for a considerable amount of time (years); planning a reliable
database strategy (backup/recovery) is a must. The following list provides you with
some first-hand tips:
• No audit data required: Turnoff JPA audit persistency options (configure
the jBPM persistence.xml file)
• Default audit data: Enable JPA audit persistence
• Custom/finer level but no extra processing required: Turnoff JPA
audit options, and follow the custom audit implementation notes in
Chapter 6, Core Architecture
• Custom/finer level and extra processing required (BI): Turnoff JPA audit
options, and follow the custom audit implementation notes in Chapter 6,
Core Architecture; writing to a different database is suggested
Please check Chapter 6, Core Architecture, for implementation details and samples.
Default history logs
The engine audit log/history information is stored in the PROCESSINSTANCELOG,
Please check Chapter 8, Integrating jBPM with Enterprise Architecture, of the
jBPM 6.1 user guide for details regarding the jBPM database schema.
Lesser-known yet very handy tables for our BAM purposes are the TASKEVENT and
[ 115 ]
Operation Management
The TASKEVENT and AUDITTAASKIMPL tables are managed by org.jbpm.services.
task.audit.JPATaskLifeCycleEventListener, a task life cycle listener created
and attached to the TaskService instance during runtime when JPA EntityManager
is set.
The TASKEVENT table logs the task event transitions:
Each row contains the key to the parent task (the TASKID column); you can take
a look at an example full table dump file (taskevent_dump.txt) placed in the
pizzadelivery Eclipse project. In the following paragraph, we will cover the BAM
dashboard and build a customization example by using our PizzaDelivery business
process audit data.
BAM and Dashbuilder – the pizza maker's
performance index
jBPM 6 is shipped with a jBPM pre-configured web application built with Dashbuilder.
Dashbuilder is the Red Hat open source platform for building
business dashboards and reports; at the time of writing this book,
the latest dashboard release is 6.2.0; please refer to the following
product home site:
The process and task dashboard is in no way a production-ready BAM platform but
helps the jBPM system stakeholders (as well as the jBPM administrators) to get a
consistent preview of the underlying auditing default data at nearly no cost.
Please check Chapter 16 of the jBPM 6.2 user guide for an
introduction to the jBPM dashboard.
To illustrate a hands-on sample case, we will now generate some audit data and
add a new chart (backed by a new data provider) on our jBPM dashboard; the
chart will display the performance index of all the process actors with respect to
the assigned tasks.
[ 116 ]
Chapter 4
Example projects
The book ships with several example Java projects; starting from this paragraph, we
will use Maven projects that you can load and run into Eclipse without deploying
them through the KIE workbench. The examples are jUnit-based test classes with
single or multiple test methods each. To resolve all the required jBPM library
dependencies, you can add the org.jbpm:jbpm-test:6.2.0.Final dependency to
the pom.xml file generated by your Eclipse project.
Configuring persistence
The examples use Bitronix and the H2 database for persistence; the database
connection settings can be configured for all the projects in the localJBPM.
properties file. This file is found in the test-common project of the Chapter 5,
BPMN Constructs examples onward and in the Pizza project for this chapter, in the
examples folder. The main settings are as follows:
persistence.datasource.url= jdbc:h2:tcp://localhost/~/jbpm-62
Please note that persistence.datasource.name must be equal to the persistence
unit jta-data-source element in the project persistence.xml file:
Generating audit data – ProcessBAM unit test
We leverage the default jBPM JPA audit listener and generate some audit data by
using our PizzaDelivery process. Import the Maven Pizza project into Eclipse
and run the ProcessBAM unit test; this class manages five threads simulating the
operations of the five process actors. It introduces some delay in the task completion
just to get realistic audit data (the time is expressed in milliseconds; the test takes a
couple of minutes to run).
The test also makes Luigi slightly slower than Mario in making pizzas, so we can
bring this difference to notice when evaluating the KPI.
salvatore is executing task 'deliver the pizza'
salvatore is waiting for 2000 before completing task 'deliver the
[ 117 ]
Operation Management
mario is done with work for now.
salvatore is done with work for now.
...all tasks completed.
A number of 10 pizzadelivery processes shall be created and all related
tasks completed:
• 10 incoming orders managed by Nino
• 10 order assignments performed by Maria
• 10-pizza cooking shared (randomly) by Mario or Luigi
• 10 delivery assignments performed by Maria
• 10 pizza deliveries performed by Salvatore
Let us see the steps required to configure and create the dashboard chart starting
from the auditing data.
Writing the business query
The query (H2 SQL syntax and functions) calculates the duration (from the
STARTED to the COMPLETED task event transition, in milliseconds) for each task of
the 10 completed processes.
SELECT te.id,te.type as taskevent, te.logtime as startdate, te2.type
as taskevent, te2.logtime as enddate,
TIMESTAMPDIFF ('MILLISECOND',te.logtime,te2.logtime) as elapsed,
te.userid, t.name as taskname
INNER JOIN TASKEVENT as te on te.taskid=t.id
INNER JOIN TASKEVENT te2 on te2.taskid=te.taskid and te2.logtime in
(select tetmp.logtime from taskevent as tetmp where tetmp.logtime>te.
logtime and te.taskid=tetmp.taskid)
where te.userid is not null and te.userid
Starting from this data provider query, we are going to define two KPIs:
• Total time spent on tasks by the user
• Total number of tasks performed by the user
[ 118 ]
Chapter 4
Adding the data provider
Log into the KIE workbench (admin/admin) and head to Business Dashboard (in
the Dashboards menu):
1. Select the Administration | Data Providers link from the left navigation
menu pane.
2. Create a new data provider: name=pizzerianapoli, type=SQL query, and
as the Query field, paste the preceding SQL query; on pressing the Attempt
data load button, the following message should appear:
SQL provider data load configuration is correct!
Elapsed time to execute query: 5189 ms
Number of entries: 50
The Number of entries:50 message confirms that the query result is correct: 10
processes with five tasks each gives 50 tasks. Click Save to confirm the data provider
setting. Clicking on the Edit data providers button will open the data provider list of
the defined columns:
We are now ready to define the KPIs, but before that, we need a new blank page on
the dashboard on which we are going to place the charts.
[ 119 ]
Operation Management
Creating a new dashboard page and the KPI
Let us create a dashboard page that is going to host the charts.
1. Create a new page by clicking the blank page icon next to the Page list in the
dashboard top toolbar (see the following screenshot):
2. Set the page settings (check the following screenshot), and click the Create
new page button:
3. Click on the new page in the left navigation menu, insert the page URL in
Page properties, and save changes.
4. Go back to the workspace and select the new page from the top page
dropdown list; then, select the Create a new panel in current page item;
a list with all of the available panels will pop up.
[ 120 ]
Chapter 4
5. Drag the Create Panel item (on top of the Components list) and drop it on the
highlighted target page panel that you wish your KPI to display; the dropped
item prompts you for the source data provider. Selecting our pizzerianapoli
data provider brings the KPI configuration panel to the front.
The relevant settings details for the KPIs are as follows:
Total time spent on tasks by the user KPI configuration:
• Data provider: pizzerianapoli
• KPI name: Total Time spent on Tasks by User (ms)
• Bar Chart
• Domain (X Axis): userid
• Range (Y Axis): elapsed; Edit Range (Scalar function: sum)
• Renderer: Open Flash
• Chart type: Box with perimeters
Number of tasks performed by the user KPI configuration:
• Data provider: pizzerianapoli
• KPI name: Tasks By User
• Bar Chart
[ 121 ]
Operation Management
• Domain (X Axis): userid
• Range (Y Axis): taskname; Edit Range (Scalar function: count)
• Renderer: NVD3
As we previously highlighted, the audit data elapsed times are denoted in
milliseconds; this makes it possible to simulate random delays and avoids taking
ages to run the test.
Given the randomness of the delays and the "make pizza" task assignments (both
Mario and Luigi are potential owners of the same tasks), you might have different
audit data; elapsed times and total tasks for Mario and Luigi will change for each
test execution.
[ 122 ]
Chapter 4
The unit test, however, always makes Luigi slower than Mario, so the overall KPI
value never changes.
Of particular note in the two KPIs is the following:
• Mario is the fastest pizza maker
• Maria is the busiest employee (20 tasks: 10 order assignments + 10 delivery
assignments); she must definitely improve her efficiency in order to not slow
down the two pizza makers (waiting for her order assignments) and the
pizzaboy (waiting for the delivery orders)
In this chapter, we explored the jBPM management features, discussing the new
Git and Maven integration for project development and Kie module deployment,
respectively. You should have a better understanding of the jBPM module
management, and you should be able to create and configure BAM charts starting
from the jBPM auditing data thanks to the off-the-shelf Red Hat Dashboard tool. The
next chapter will dive into BPMN constructs and will provide you with practical
process definition examples.
[ 123 ]
BPMN Constructs
To classify the level of support that a BPMN software tool provides, the BPMN
standard defines the "conformance classes" as follows:
• Process Modeling Conformance: This class includes the BPMN core elements,
process, collaboration, and conversation diagrams. It defines subclasses
that contain a limited set of visual elements (descriptive), an extended set of
modeling elements (analytical), and modeling elements that are required to
model executable processes (common executable).
• Process Execution Conformance: It requires a software tool to support the
operational semantics of BPMN.
• Choreography Modeling Conformance: The choreography modeling
conformance class includes the BPMN core elements and the collaboration
and choreography diagrams.
jBPM supports a great part of the Common Executable class, with
additional extensions. Please check Chapter 6, Core Architecture, of
the jBPM 6.2 user guide for insights into the topic.
jBPM introduced the implementation of the BPMN 2.0 specification with the jBPM 5
release, for both the graphical notation (element visual representation) and the XML
serialization, easing the task of exchanging process definitions between developers
and the business team (in terms of Eclipse-based BPMN editor and process Webbased designer interoperability).
[ 125 ]
BPMN Constructs
Other jBPM BPMN notable features are as follows:
• Compliance with the BPMN process execution semantics ("Common
Executable" subclass specification)
• The BPMN DI (which stands for Diagram Interchangeability) specification
for storing diagram information
• The BPMN I/O specification for input/output mapping
In Chapter 1, Business Process Modeling – Bridging Business and Technology, we already
had an overview of the main BPMN concepts, constructs, and modeling patterns.
We selected the topics for this chapter not to provide you with a BPMN modeling or
reference guide, but as hands-on, example-driven explanation of all BPMN constructs
supported by jBPM, without completely hiding away the underlying technical details.
In this chapter, we will discuss the following:
• The concept behind the BPMN construct
• How to use it in a business process (with examples)
• Best practices for when and where to use BPMN constructs
Parameters, variables, and data
Most of the time, business processes are data-driven processes: tasks handle
variables, and rules handle facts; you will not be asked to draw a BPMN diagram
without handling variables, parameters, objects, and states coming from external
systems, user input, and other sources. A majority of the jBPM constructs are useless
without data. Let us clarify the basics:
• Parameters: These are the data input coming from the user through the
API. The user can pass parameters during process creation, at a human task
completion, or into a service task for a Web service call.
• Variables: Variables are objects living in the scope of a single process
instance. Variables can be created directly inside a process instance construct
(for example, Script Activity and Data Object) or can be mapped from/to
other variables (Data Input/Output Mapping) defined in another scope, for
example, from the main process to a subprocess, from the process to a human
task, and so on.
• Globals: Static variables shared across different process instances for a single
Kie working session.
[ 126 ]
Chapter 5
• Facts: Data that can be added to the Kie session and then updated or
removed (retracted). This information is inserted, technically speaking, into
the session through channels named entry points, and evaluated according
to the Drools business rules, for activation. Drools Agenda manages the rule
activation and firing mechanism.
Please refer to Drools reference documentation for additional
details on facts, rules, entry points, Agenda, and the Drools
rule engine in general: https://docs.jboss.org/drools/
release/6.2.0.Final/drools-docs/html. Drools and jBPM
are complementary projects that integrate together very nicely.
Variables and globals are accessed through context-type implicit references made
available to the jBPM constructs at runtime:
• ProcessContext (kcontext): This gives you access to variables
• KieRuntime (kcontext.getKieRuntime()): This gives you access to globals
and facts
There are no implementation constraints on parameters, variables, and global class
types apart from implementing the java.io.Serialization interface. Remember in
fact that jBPM uses the standard in-memory serialization mechanism (readObject/
writeObject). When we enable persistence, it features an additional custom object
marshalling mechanism to and from the store for session and process instances (see
Marshalling in Chapter 7, Customizing and Extending jBPM). Furthermore, when there
are persisting process variables for auditing and logging (VARIABLEINSTANCELOG
table), jBPM stores the values by calling the process variable toString() method.
jBPM does not provide out-of-the-box process variable persistence
in any of its schema tables. We need to implement our ad-hoc
variable serialization strategy (we will cover variables persistence
with Marshalling in Chapter 7, Customizing and Extending jBPM.).
[ 127 ]
BPMN Constructs
Sequence flow
The sequence flow is the connector between two elements of the process. It
represents a flow of execution. A sequence flow may optionally have a condition
defined (conditional sequence flow). The engine always evaluates a task node's
outgoing sequence flows: If the condition evaluates to true then the engine selects
and follows that sequence flow; a sequence flow with no condition defined is
always followed by the engine. A diamond shaped connector (see Appendix B, jBPM
BPMN Constructs Reference, Gateways section for some pictorial examples) indicates
a conditional sequence flow. Multiple sequence flows represent branching and
merging without the usage of a gateway. Gateways, depending on their nature,
handle conditional sequence flows in specific ways as we are about to see.
jBPM allows you to enable multiple outgoing conditional sequence
flows from a task by setting the jbpm.enable.multi.con system
property to true (default is false).
The following example process (see the figure) shows how the jbpm.enable.multi.
con property affects the sequence flow behavior.
Example test class:
Example process:
[ 128 ]
Chapter 5
Description: The test creates the process instance with an Order variable with
different cost values. The process, thanks to the jbpm.enable.multi.con system
property set to TRUE, allows the execution of multiple (here, we have two)
conditional sequence flows that diverge from a single Script Activity. The first
sequence flow is taken if the Order costs more than 10, while the second one is taken
when the Order cost is ≤10.
Gateways are elements that allow you to create branches in your process. These
branches can be, conceptually, diverging or converging. You can model the behavior
of the different types of business process sequence flows: conditional branching
(inclusive and exclusive), forking, merging, and joining.
Let us first review the key gateway concepts and the practical examples in the
upcoming sections:
• Fork (split) indicates a flow dividing into two or more paths that should
execute in a logically parallel (concurrent) way: jBPM, for implementation
reasons, never executes parallel flows concurrently (at the thread level) but
always sequentially, one step at a time
• Join (or synchronization) refers to the combining of two or more parallel
paths into one path
• Branch (or decision) is a point where the control flow can take one or more
alternative paths
• Merge refers to a process point where two or more alternative sequence flow
paths are combined into a single sequence flow path
Hence, the gateway direction property is defined as follows:
• Unspecified: May have both multiple incoming and outgoing connections
• Mixed: Multiple incoming and outgoing connections
• Converging: Multiple incoming connections and only one
outgoing connection
• Diverging: Only one incoming connection and multiple outgoing
sequence flows
Unspecified and mixed directions are not implemented
Let us now see how these BPM concepts translate into jBPM modeling elements.
[ 129 ]
BPMN Constructs
Parallel (AND) gateway
This gateway allows us to fork into multiple paths of execution or to join multiple
incoming paths of execution. When used to fork a sequence flow (diverging or
AND-split), all outgoing branches are activated simultaneously. When joining
parallel branches (converging or AND-join), it waits for all incoming branches to
complete before moving to the outgoing sequence flow. This gateway must be used
when many activities have to be carried out at the same time in any particular order.
Example test class:
Example process:
Description: The plan route script task calculates the order delivery route, while the
Prepare Ingredients human task adds some mozzarella to the order bill of materials.
The closing Done Script task displays the result after all outgoing flows are complete.
Conditional branching
These gateways introduce the condition expression. The condition expressions linked
to each of the outgoing/incoming sequence flows are evaluated during process
execution using process data (data-based gateways). Optionally, one of the gateway
outgoing paths can be flagged as the default flow (its condition is ignored): this path
is taken only if none of the other path flows can be selected. The default (sequence)
flow is visually marked with a slash mark as shown in the following image:
[ 130 ]
Chapter 5
The "default flow" property is supported in the Exclusive and Inclusive
Gateway elements.
We briefly introduced Drools facts and rules in the first section. Conditional
branching based on Drools expressions works with facts but not with process
variables. If we want to leverage the Drools expression features in the gateway
constructs, we have to insert the process variable as a Drools fact, for example,
given the process variable order:
Order order = new Order();
From inside the process definition (by a Script task, a Task on exit Script, and so on),
we insert the following fact:
Alternatively, we can do so by using the API as follows:
Exclusive (XOR) gateway
It is used to model a decision in the process. More than one path cannot be taken;
the paths are mutually exclusive, hence, the name. In case multiple sequence flows
have a condition that evaluates to true, the first one defined in the XML is selected for
continuing the process. In an exclusive gateway, all outgoing sequence flows should
have conditions defined on them. The default sequence flow is an exception to
this rule.
[ 131 ]
BPMN Constructs
Example test class:
Example process:
Description: Different paths are taken for successful Pizza deliveries; the default path
is chosen when other conditions are not met.
Inclusive (OR) gateway
An inclusive gateway is a branching point of the business process. Unlike the exclusive
gateway, an inclusive gateway may trigger more than one outgoing flow and execute
them in parallel (such as the parallel gateway). So, with diverging behavior, the
gateway will always evaluate all outgoing sequence flow conditions, regardless of
whether it already has a satisfied outgoing flow or not (unlike the exclusive gateway).
In the case of converging behavior, the gateway will wait until all the incoming active
sequence flows have reached it (merging). We can usually use this construct in a pair
of splitting/merging gateways (see the following example) when we need to fork
executions depending on certain conditions and then rejoin them.
Example test class:
Example process:
[ 132 ]
Chapter 5
Description: Multiple different paths are taken for evaluation of the order delivery
status; the testIssues test is set up so as to make the process take both the delivery
not on time (deliveryDate > dueDate) and the retries > 1 path. The default path is
chosen when other conditions are not met (see the testNoIssues test).
Event-based gateways
Event-based gateways are similar to exclusive gateways, but the gateway trigger is
based on event occurrence instead of condition evaluation. When our process arrives
at an event-based gateway, we will have to wait until something happens. A specific
event, usually the receipt of a message, determines the path that will be taken.
Basically, the decision is made by another actor on the basis of data that is not visible
to a process. This gateway is always a diverging gateway and must have at least one
event attached.
Example test class:
[ 133 ]
BPMN Constructs
Example process:
Description: The event gateway has a timer attached; when the timer expires, the
send alert script is executed, bringing the process to termination.
Instantiating gateway
The instantiating gateway is a specialized event-based gateway, which triggers the
process instantiation as soon as an attached event is received. The "instantiate" option
(as of jBPM 6.2 the option is available in the jBPM Eclipse plug-in only) configures
the gateway as a diverging gateway with no incoming connections: this gives you a
way to instantiate a process by using an event, such as timer expiration or a catching
signal event (see the following sections for timers and signals). jBPM does not
support a pure instantiating gateway with no incoming connection: you always have
to link it to a Start "None" event (see the following figure) or the process compilation
will fail (complaining with a "missing incoming connection" error)
Example test class:
Example process:
[ 134 ]
Chapter 5
Description: Depending on events sent from an external (API call), different paths
are taken (the testCustomerPhoneCallEvent and testDeliveredEvent methods);
the timer triggers after 15 s if no event is caught (the testTimerExpired method).
Note that both catching events pass the signal data (a randomly generated orderid
string) to the process parameter orderid, which is later printed from the script tasks.
Complex gateway
This gateway can be used to model complex synchronization behavior.
The construct options are available at the designer level, but jBPM has no
implementation for this construct.
Events are elements used to model something that happens during the process
lifetime. BPMN 2.0 defines two main event categories: catching and throwing events.
• Catching: This event represents a pausing point in the process execution:
Once the process flow reaches the catching event node, it stops in the wait
state, waiting for a specific trigger to happen.
• Throwing: This event represents an action generating an event. When
process execution reaches the event construct, an action is performed and a
trigger is fired. For this throwing event, depending on the event type, there
could be a matching catching event or not, that is, a send signal (throwing)/
catch signal or send error (throwing)/catch error. On the other hand, the
compensate throw event does not have a catch companion, while the timer
event is always a catching event.
[ 135 ]
BPMN Constructs
Events are also categorized according to other criteria:
• An event can appear at the beginning of a process (Start event), within
a process (Intermediate event), or at the end of a process (End event)
• An event can be generic or one of the different predefined types: time-based,
message-based, signal-based, rule-based, exception-based, and so on
• An event can be positioned within a sequence flow or attached at the
boundary of an activity (Boundary event)
• An event can exit the current process execution or not
A note before we start:
To facilitate reading, we'll go through the events by grouping them by
event type (Start, Boundary, End) and then illustrating the supported
variations (catching/throwing and start/intermediate/boundary/end)
for each type of event (Signal, Message, Timer…).
For additional information and a complete jBPM constructs reference
(ordered the same way as you will find in both the Eclipse BPMN
modeling tool palette and the KIE console palette), please refer to
Appendix B, jBPM BPMN Constructs Reference.
Start events
The start event defines where (and how) the process is started; Start events are
catching-only events. When a specific start event trigger fires (timer, messages,
signal, and so on) the process is started. We will now see the None Start event;
the other start event types are discussed in their respective sections.
Supported start events are: None, Message, Timer, Escalation, Conditional, Error,
Compensation, Signal
None Start event
The simplest form of a Start event is the None Start event. It technically means that
the trigger for starting the process instance is not specified; in other words, the
engine does not know when the process instance is to be started. The only way to
start the process is by invoking the startProcess method on a Kie session reference.
ProcessInstancestartProcess(String processId, Map<String, Object>
[ 136 ]
Chapter 5
End events
The End events are meant to express the end of a process or subprocess, and they are
always throwing events. When the process execution arrives in the End event node,
the associated event type is thrown. A process definition can have one or more End
events defined. In this section, we will see the None and the Terminate End event;
the other End event types are discussed in their respective sections.
Supported end events are: None, Message, Escalation, Error, Cancel, Compensation,
Signal, Terminate
(None) End event
The None End event throws no events, and the engine just ends the current process
instance sequence flow execution. If there are no more active sequence flows or
nothing else to be performed (activities), the process instance is completed.
Terminate End event
The Terminate End event brings the process instance to the Completed state; all
pending tasks, active sequence flows, and subprocesses are aborted.
Boundary events
Boundary events are events (always catching) that are graphically attached to an
activity (subprocesses included) boundary (see the following figure). The event is
registered for a certain type of trigger (see the following supported boundary events)
and reacts only within the scope of the execution of the attached activity, with slight
variations depending on the event type. In case the event triggers, it can optionally
cancel the activity that it is attached to (by its cancelActivity property), and the
event's outgoing sequence flow is executed. The boundary events are activated when
the attached activity is started; in other words, they are bound to the activity instance
life cycle. When the engine process execution path leaves the activity, all its attached
boundary events are deactivated and their triggering is cancelled.
Supported boundary events are: Conditional, Error, Escalation, Message, Signal, Timer
See the Boundary Message event section for a working example.
[ 137 ]
BPMN Constructs
Signal events
A signal is a generic, simple form of communication, such as messages (see below). We
can use signals to synchronize and exchange information. A catching signal may not
have a corresponding throwing signal construct. It can also be sent programmatically
from an external source (API). In contrast to other events (error event), if a signal
is caught, it is not consumed. If there are two active intermediate catching events
firing on the same signal event name, both events are triggered, even if they are part
of different process instances and definitions. If the signal is sent and there are no
catching signals registered for this event, the event is lost.
Signals can have visibility between different parts of the same process or broadcast
processes (scope across all process instances), or targeted to a specific process
instance. You can throw a signal event in a process instance, and other process
instances with a different process definition can react to the event. Please keep in
mind that this behavior (broader or narrower signal scope) can be affected by the
runtime strategy chosen to create your Kie session (the subject is discussed in Chapter
6, Core Architecture).
Signal ID and signal name tips
You may notice some issues with signals when creating/modifying process signals
in BPMN processes shared between the KIE jBPM console editor and the Eclipse
BPMN modeler. The generated BPMN differs, and this may lead to bugs and
unexpected behavior.
When creating the process definition from the Eclipse BPMN editor, the signal is
assigned an internal ID of the form: Signal_{number}. Therefore, the actual signal
ID to use is the same signal ID that you see in the Signal property editor and not the
user-assigned signal name in the process definition panel (signal list table). Keep in
mind this additional signal name referencing when coding against the org.kie.api.
runtime.KieSession.sendSignal method.
<bpmn2:signal id="Signal_1" name="customerPhoneCall"/>
<bpmn2:signalEventDefinition id="SignalEventDefinition_1"
Therefore, with an Eclipse-generated process, the Signal_1 ID must be used with
the API.
<bpmn2:signal id="customerPhoneCall" name="customerPhoneCall"/>
<bpmn2:signalEventDefinition id="_05nSUW_YEeSWR_CUOywjGQ"
[ 138 ]
Chapter 5
With a process generated from a jBPM Web console editor, the signal ID is equal to
the name attribute; customerPhoneCall must be used with the API.
Signal data mapping
Signals can carry optional object data; for each triggered catching signal, you can get
this signal data and map it to a process variable. When operating with the jBPM Web
designer, in order to successfully map the signal data to a process variable, you have
to configure the DataOutput signal and assign it the name event as you can see in
the following screenshot. The picture shows the event's data mapping for the
start_signal.bpmn process signal events (see the Start Signal event section example
for a detailed event data mapping example).
This is a very flexible mechanism. By delivering data with your signals, you can
update process variables, convey extra information, or change the process flow
very easily.
Start Signal event
With a named Start Signal, we can programmatically start a process instance. The
signal can be fired from within an existing process instance by using the intermediary
signal throw event or through the API (the sendSignal method). In both cases, all
process definitions that have a Signal Start event with the same name will be started.
You can have multiple Start Signal events in a single process definition.
Example test class:
com.packt.masterjbpm6.event.StartTest (method testSignalStart)
[ 139 ]
BPMN Constructs
Example process:
Description: Different Start Signal events are sent so as to create different process
instances. The signal data is mapped to the process variable (see the previous section
for an explanation of event data mapping).
Intermediate Signal event
An Intermediate catching Signal event catches signals sent from a throwing
intermediate signal or through the API call (KieSession or ProcessInstance.
sendSignal) and continues the process instance flow. The catching signal has no
incoming connections.
Boundary Signal event
See the Boundary events section.
End Signal event
This kind of signal event is sent at the completion of the process. It can be a handy
way to track process instance completions across the system.
Message events
Message events reference a name and can optionally have a payload. Unlike a signal,
a message event is always targeted at a single catching message. The name of the catch
and throw messages must be exactly the same in order to make the message flow work
properly. Let us point out some differences between messages and signals:
[ 140 ]
Chapter 5
• Inside the BPMN diagram, the message flow is drawn linking the sender to
the receiver, while signals are never directly connected on the diagram. The
throwing and the catching signal are implicitly connected only by their name.
• Messages should only be thrown/caught in the same process instance; there
is no such limitation for signals. Messages work at the process instance scope
only and are point-to-point links. A signal can travel from one process instance
to many process instances (broadcast scope).
Message data mapping
See the Signal data mapping section.
Start Message event
A Start Message event is used to start a process instance as a direct consequence of
catching a message; a process can have multiple Message Start events. This allows us
to choose the process creation method simply by changing the Message event name
to send (see the following image). Make sure that the message event name is unique
across all loaded process definitions to avoid unwanted process creations.
When sending the message from the API (sendSignal), we have to
prefix the message name with the Message- string.
Message Start events are supported only with top-level processes and not with
embedded subprocesses.
[ 141 ]
BPMN Constructs
Intermediate Message event
If a process is waiting for the message, it will either be paused until the message
arrives or change the flow for exception handling. For using a throw message,
there has to be a catch message event that catches the message. It can be a message
intermediate event or a message start event.
Boundary Message event
The following example shows task cancellation and message data passing by using
two boundary events (a timer and a message) attached to a human task. The timer has
the cancel activity property set to FALSE, while the message has it set to TRUE. The
boundary message event maps the event data to a process variable in order to log the
cancellation reason passed by the throwing (external) message sent by the test class.
Example test class:
com.packt.masterjbpm6.event.BoundaryTest (method
Example process:
Description: A process with a human task is created. The timer event's duty is to
cycle and expire every 15 s calling the script task "time out warning" (its timer
expression is 15s###15s, and it is not flagged as "cancel activity"; therefore, the task
will not be cancelled as the timer triggers). When the user continues with the test (the
test class asks the user to press a key to proceed), a message is sent (sendSignal),
the process message boundary event is triggered, and the activity is cancelled (since
the boundary message event has the "cancel activity" flag enabled). Note that the
message is sent by our test class with some data that serves as the task cancellation
reason ("cancelled by ADMIN"):
sendSignal("Message-messageCancelService", "cancelled by ADMIN");
The boundary message (id=messageCancelService) catches the sent message, and
the message event data, which is bound to the process variable reason, is printed in
standard output by the cancel log script task.
[ 142 ]
Chapter 5
End Message event
A message is sent to a specific process at the conclusion of a process.
jBPM throwing message implementation
The jBPM throwing message default implementation is just a placeholder. You must
provide your own WorkItemHandler definition and register it with the name Send
Task to the jBPM Runtime, providing a hook to the working Kie session (identified
by ksession in the following code fragment):
SendMessageTaskHandler messagehandler = new SendMessageTaskHandler();
Throughout this chapter, you will find several references to "workItem"
and "workItem handler and manager." These are the jBPM component
part of a feature that lets you define a custom Java class and bind it with
a specific process activity type in the engine runtime. Every time the
engine activates this activity type, your handler will be invoked and
passed the control. Please refer to Chapter 7, Customizing and Extending
jBPM for detailed explanation and examples.
From the custom workItemHandler, you can then send signals:
public void executeWorkItem(WorkItemworkItem, WorkItemManager
manager) {
ksession.signalEvent("Message-startmessage", "processdata");
[ 143 ]
BPMN Constructs
Example test class:
com.packt.masterjbpm6.event.StartTest (method
Example processes:
start_message_catch.bpmn, start_message_throw.bpmn
Description: The process created sends a message by a custom WorkItemHandler
starting a new instance of the start_message_catch process (by a start
message event).
Timer events
Timer events are events that are triggered when a timer construct expression is met;
the timer properties are as follows:
• Time Duration: Single trigger delay value (for example: 10 m, 25 s).
• Timer Cycle: The time expression that shall be evaluated. It can be a string
(interval-based 20 s or 5 m###35 s, where the first value is the initial delay
and the second value is the delay between repeated fires), a string cron
expression, or a process variable. In the case of JBPM 6.x, it can also be
a ISO-8601 formatted date.
• Timer Cycle Language: Can be a default interval (empty value and time
duration set) or cron.
Start Timer event
A Start Timer event is used to create a process instance at a given time. It can be used
for processes that should start only once and for processes that should start at specific
time intervals. Note the following points:
• A subprocess cannot have a start timer event.
• A Start Timer event is registered as soon as the process is deployed.
There is no need to call the startProcessInstance API.
• When a new version of a process with a Start Timer event is deployed,
the job corresponding to the old timer will be removed.
[ 144 ]
Chapter 5
Intermediate Timer event
This event is a catching event only. The timer value triggers the execution of
the outgoing sequence flow. You can use the timer to insert a generic delay or a
timed-out sequence flow execution; for example, you could add a timer to manage
a due date for a human task completion (see the Event-based gateway section example
for a timer that acts this way).
Boundary Timer event
See the Boundary Message event section for an example.
Error events
Error events are used to model business exceptions. They are triggered by an
exception that might be generated during the execution of an activity. Intermediary
throw/catch error events do not apply.
Boundary Error event
This boundary error event must be attached to an activity. As the error event
triggers, the activity is always canceled and the error event's outgoing sequence flow
is taken.
Example test class:
com.packt.masterjbpm6.event.ErrorTest (method testBoundaryErrors)
Example process:
[ 145 ]
BPMN Constructs
Description: Two different boundary error events are attached to the same user
task registered on different errorCode properties (FileNotFoundException or
RuntimeException); the error handler logs the exception message. Depending on
the process parameter (triggerexceptionflag) value passed, the user task throws
a different exception upon completion (the onExit script), which triggers
the appropriate boundary error event.
The process is started with a variable whose value affects the type of exception to
be thrown:
Map<String, Object> params = new HashMap<String, Object>();
// "1" for a runtime exception; "2" for a FileNotFoundException
String trigger = "1";
params.put("triggerexceptionflag", trigger);
ProcessInstance processInstance =
ksession.startProcess("errorboundary", params);
The user task's onExit script evaluates the process variable and throws the
exception accordingly:
String trigger=(String)context.getVariable ("triggerexceptionflag");
if (trigger.equals ("1"))
throw new RuntimeException("a runtime exception");
throw new FileNotFoundException("a filenotfoundexception exception");
[ 146 ]
Chapter 5
The engine triggers the appropriate boundary error event depending on the
exception thrown; the event, in fact, must be configured with the errorCode
property set to the exception classname: java.lang.RuntimeException
(see the following screenshot).
Note that the boundary error can bind the exception to a process variable. In the
example, this variable (exceptionvar) is logged to the console by the script task:
Throwable exc=(Throwable )context.getVariable ("exceptionvar");
System.out.println("log error message:"+exc.getMessage());
Error Start event
The Error Start event can only be used to trigger an Event Subprocess and cannot
be used to start a process instance. This is a feature you could consider using when
activating alternative subprocesses on error exceptions.
Error End event
When the process execution reaches an Error End event, the current path of
execution is ended and an error event is thrown. This error is caught by a matching
intermediate boundary Error event or a subprocess Start Error event. If no Error
event is found, an exception is thrown.
The following example uses the Error End event to trigger a subprocess by its Error
Start event.
[ 147 ]
BPMN Constructs
Example test class:
com.packt.masterjbpm6.event.ErrorEndTest (method
Example process:
Description: The main process features a human task and an Error End event, which
triggers an embedded subprocess Script task by an Error Start event.
Complex business processes may involve a number of heterogeneous parties and
systems such as modern transactional systems, legacy systems (not transactional),
and Web services. In order to preserve business consistency, when something fails
and no transactional protocols are available, these systems may require you to
perform programmatic corrective actions by invoking some dedicated API or by any
other means. The compensation is the action of post-processing trying to remedy
(not properly undoing or rolling-back) the effects produced by an action.
We want to stress the fact that jBPM compensations are not a transactional feature or
a try/catch error mechanism. The compensation is a BPM business feature, which
models an activity as the compensating counterpart for an already completed activity.
Here you have the common steps, which take place during a compensation event
(see the following process example figure for a visual reference of the sequence).
• An activity (A1) whose boundary is attached to a compensation event (E1)
is completed
• A compensate event (E2) is thrown somewhere in the process
[ 148 ]
Chapter 5
• The compensate event (E1) catches E2
• jBPM activates the compensation handler (A2), which is connected to E1
The engine is ignorant of what the compensating activity will do since it is up to the
developer to define the compensating business logic.
Intermediate Compensation event
The throwing Compensation event (E2) and the boundary Compensation event (E1)
are implicitly connected by the same event name (we have already seen this with
signals and messages). What we have explained for boundary events still applies
here: when the Compensation event (E2) is triggered, the boundary Compensation
event (E1) reacts by invoking the linked compensating activity (A2), which is marked
with the typical compensation FastBackward-like symbol.
Boundary Compensation event
The Compensation boundary event (E1) must reference one Compensation handler
(A2) only through the direct association line. The Compensation boundary event
is activated only when the activity (A1) has been completed (unlike the default
boundary event behavior where the event is activated depending on the Activity
start state). The Compensation catch event (E1) is removed after either the parent
process instance completes or the Compensation event itself is triggered. If a
Compensation boundary event is attached to a multiple-instance subprocess,
a compensation event listener will be created for each instance. jBPM does not
seem to support this last feature.
Compensating activity
This activity (also called a compensation handler) is directly connected to the
triggering boundary compensation event and must have no outgoing sequence flows.
Example test class:
com.packt.masterjbpm6.event.CompensationTest (method
Example process:
[ 149 ]
BPMN Constructs
Description: We used this example process to explain the typical compensation
"workflow," so you should already be familiar with it. Let us just add that the
Compensate event is thrown when the human task (H1) is completed and the
cancelOrder variable evaluates to "y." This activates the exclusive gateway sequence
flow, which triggers the event (E2). This activates the boundary Compensate event
(E1), which in turn calls the cancel order script task (A2). The cancel order task acts
as a "compensating" activity.
Triggering compensations with signals
jBPM offers additional ways to trigger compensations inside a process instance by
using signals: general (implicit) and specific compensation handling. An implicit
compensation triggers all of the compensation handlers for the process instance:
+ "compensateorder", pi.getId());
You must use the compensation signal type and pass the signal data a string that
results from concatenating the CompensationScope class constant and the process
definition ID resulting in the following:
The specific compensation triggers a specific compensation handler inside a process
instance. You must pass the activity node ID attached to the boundary compensation
event, along with the process instance ID:
ksession.signalEvent("Compensation", "_2", pi.getId());
[ 150 ]
Chapter 5
Our example process script task XML element follows:
<bpmn2:scriptTask id="_2" name="prepare order"
No new signal event needs to be defined at the process definition
For working examples, please refer to the following:
Example test class:
com.packt.masterjbpm6.event.CompensationTest (methods
testGlobalCompensationWithSignal and
testSpecificCompensationWithSignal respectively).
End Compensation event
The end compensation event works the same way as the intermediate one
(please see the example process figure). A compensation end event is thrown (E1),
and the compensation handler triggered (A1). This kind of event is useful when
there is a need to perform housekeeping or remediation business logic at the end of a
process, but only when your bounded activity (S1) is in the COMPLETE state. Note
in fact, as we already stressed, that the compensation handler kicks in only when the
subprocess (S1) is already in the completed state.
Example test class:
com.packt.masterjbpm6.event.CompensationTest (method
Example processes:
[ 151 ]
BPMN Constructs
Description: The process has a subprocess (S1) with an attached boundary
Compensate event (E2). The subprocess triggers the throwing compensate end
event (E1). The Compensate boundary catch event (E2) invokes the compensation
handler (A1), which rolls back the process variable to the initial value.
Multi-instance compensation
Compensation catching events attached to a multi-instance subprocess are not
implemented. See the Subprocess section for details about multi-instance activities.
Escalation, according to the common policies of an institution, organization, or
corporate, refers to the existing relationships between the working personnel and
their duties. The presence of an escalation event indicates that there is a condition
that requires the business process flow to be diverted to a different user group. For
instance, if an order above a certain price threshold is received, the approval task
must be performed by a user in a higher role (for example, a manager); otherwise,
it can also be approved by a clerk user.
In the case of jBPM 6.2.0, escalation events seem to be partially implemented and it
is not clear what part of the BPMN specification is supported at this stage. You can
partially overcome the lack of an escalation event with Deadlines and Notifications
(see the User Task section).
[ 152 ]
Chapter 5
Conditional events
Conditional events are a jBPM feature extension. They are triggered by an evaluation
of user-provided expressions of Drools rules and facts properties. Conditional Start
and Boundary events are supported.
Example test class:
com.packt.masterjbpm6.event.ConditionalTest (method
Example process:
Description: The main process is started when the Fact order note property matches
"urgent"; the following script task ordercost is cancelled if Order cost > 100.
An activity is a unit of work that is executed within a business process; it can be
atomic or non-atomic (Compound activity, Call activity, or Subprocess). Activities
can be of the Task, Call activity, or Subprocess type.
A task is the smallest atomic activity unit that can be included within a process.
Usually, the performer of the task can be an end user (called human) using a UI-based
application, a participating external service, or a generic set of business statements.
Tasks have their local scope and can accept input parameters from their container and
return output parameters.
[ 153 ]
BPMN Constructs
User Task
A user task is used to model work that needs to be done by a human actor. When
the process execution arrives at the user task node, a new task instance is created in
the work list of the actor(s) or group(s) defined for this task (the Actors and Groups
properties). Human tasks can transition to several different states and involve
human stakeholders depending on the action taken on the task itself and the defined
human roles.
Human roles
Human roles define what a person or a group of actors can do with tasks. Let us
review the roles defined for the human task activities:
• Task initiator: The person who creates the task instance. Depending on how
the task has been created, the task initiator may not be defined.
• Actual owner: The person who owns the task and is performing it. A task
always has one actual owner.
• Potential owners: Persons who are given a task so that they can claim and
complete it. A potential owner can become the actual owner of a task by
claiming it.
• Excluded owners: Actors may not transition to be an actual or potential
owner, and they may not reserve or start a task.
• Business administrators: Business administrators are able to perform the
same operations as task users since they are always potential owners of every
task. jBPM provides a default business administrator user (Administrator)
and group (Administrators).
State transitions
The task remains in the Created state until it is activated. When the task has a single
potential owner, it transitions into the Reserved state (it is assigned to a single
actual actor); otherwise, it transitions into the Ready state; this state indicates that
the task can be claimed by one of its potential owners. After being claimed, the
task transitions into the Reserved state, elevating the potential owner to the actual
owner actor. At this point, the actor can start the task that is in either the Ready or
the Reserved state and make it transition to the InProgress state. The InProgress
state means that the task is being worked on. If the actor completes the work, the
task transitions into the Completed state. If the completion of the work goes wrong
(exception), the task is put into the Failed state. Alternatively, the user can release the
task, bringing it back to the Ready state. No transition is allowed from the Complete
state and the Failed state.
[ 154 ]
Chapter 5
For detailed information on task state transitions, please refer to
the Web Services – Human Task (WS-HumanTask) Specification by
Oasis at http://docs.oasis-open.org.
State transitions
Deadlines and escalations
The jBPM concept of a task deadline is bound to the task start-complete time interval
duration; deadlines are associated with task escalations: the task escalation may
exist in either a task reassignment or a task notification action. The task deadline
is calculated on the task expiry date: it is reset when the task is started, and it
expires when the task is completed over the allowed time boundary. Deadlines
are physically stored in the DEADLINE table while notifications are stored in the
NOTIFICATION set of tables.
The Reassignment and Notifications property editor is available in
the KIE Web process editor only.
[ 155 ]
BPMN Constructs
Task reassignment
Task reassignment is a jBPM mechanism that lets you change a task ownership by
setting specific rules, which are based on the task state transition and a deadline time
expression, for example: "if Luigi (a named task actor) does not start the task in 60
seconds then reassign the task instance to Mario." The nominated user is replaced
by the new user as the potential owner for the task. The resulting reassignment rule
syntax is as follows:
You can define multiple reassignment rules on a single task instance.
Task event type conditions can be not-started and not-completed.
The BPMN XML task parameters are NotStartedReassign and
NotCompletedReassign. The reassignment information is persisted by the engine
Example test class:
com.packt.masterjbpm6.activity.TaskTest (testReassign method)
Example process:
Description: The main process is started, and the task is assigned to Luigi. The
reassign rule states that "if Luigi (named task actor) does not start his task in 60
seconds then the task should be assigned to Mario."
A notification is the action of alerting someone (actor, group) when a task deadline
expires. The default jBPM notification is e-mail based, and the default e-mail
configuration is read from the userinfo.properties and email.properties files.
The userinfo.properties file lists the user/group information in the following form:
e.g., for an entity of type actor, we have:
Member data is optional and is used for listing members belonging to a group
organizational entity.
[ 156 ]
Chapter 5
Please refer to the official jBPM 6.2 documentation for the
configuration details.
The BPMN XML task parameters are NotStartedNotify and NotCompletedNotify.
An example NotStartedNotify parameter value follows:
task has not been started in 10s !@10s@not-started
Delegation is the process of setting a task's potential owners. The actual owners,
potential owners, or business administrators can delegate a task to another user,
adding this user to the potential owners (if he/she isn't already) and making the
user the task owner. A task can be delegated when it is in an active state (Ready,
Reserved, or InProgress) and transitioned into the Reserved state, and its skippable
property can be flagged to true (the target actor/owner can skip the task). The task's
state and parameters will not change after delegation.
Task forwarding is the process performed by a potential owner on an active task
who replaces himself in the potential owner list, passing the task to another person.
The potential owner can only forward tasks when in the Ready state. If the task is in
the Reserved or InProgress state, the task is transitioned to the Ready state again.
A task can be suspended in any of its active states (Ready, Reserved, or InProgress),
transitioning it into the Suspended state. The Suspended state has sub-states to
indicate the original state of the task. When resumed, the task transitions back to the
original state from which it had been suspended.
A stakeholder working on a human task or a business administrator may decide that
a task is no longer needed and hence, skip this task. This makes the task transition
into the Obsolete state. The task can only be skipped if this capability is specified
during the task configuration (the skippable property).
[ 157 ]
BPMN Constructs
For delegate, forward and skip, and suspend/resume examples have a look at
a test class:
com.packt.masterjbpm6.task.TaskTest (methods
testDelegateReadyStateAndSkip, testForwardAndSkip,
Example process:
Description: The main process is started, and a human task is reserved to Luigi.
The test methods check for task delegation, forwarding, and suspend/resume.
A task may be released by the current owner as a human task, making it available
for other potential owners. From active states that have an actual owner (Reserved or
InProgress), a task can be released and transitioned into the Ready state. Task data
associated with the task is kept unchanged.
If a task is currently InProgress, it can be stopped by the actual owner, transitioning
it into the Reserved state. Business data associated with the task as well as its actual
owner is kept unchanged.
Script Task
A Script task is an automatic activity. When a process execution arrives at the Script
task, the corresponding script is executed. All process variables that are accessible
through the execution context (the kcontext variable) can be referenced within the
script. It has the following properties:
• It is executed by the business process engine
• The script is defined in a language supported by the engine (Java or MVEL)
• The script task execution is always immediate
• The script task transitions to the complete state after the script execution
For a complete MVEL reference, please visit http://mvel.
Example test class:
[ 158 ]
Chapter 5
Example process:
Description: The process script activity updates the process variable order
description property:
Order order=(Order)kcontext.getVariable ("order");
order.setNote ("order modified");
Service Task
The service task indicates the work that is to be automatically performed by a service
provider. Usually, all work that has to be executed outside the engine should be
designed as a service task. jBPM supports two types of service task implementations:
plain Java class and Web service. The service task is backed by a WorkItemHandler
implementation (org.jbpm.process.workitem.bpmn2.ServiceTaskHandler)
registered with the name Service Task.
The parameters are as follows:
• Interface: Java class name or WSDL WebService service interface
• Operation: Java method name or WSDL WebService operation
• Parameter: Method name (to invoke)
• ParameterType: Method (to invoke) parameter type
(only 1 parameter supported)
• Mode (WS only): SYNC (default), ASYNC, or ONEWAY
In case of a service task of type Java, jBPM uses Java reflection to load the Java class
type (by using an Interface parameter), instantiate it, and invoke the specified
method (searched by Operation and ParameterType) with the value provided by
Parameter. Only method signatures with a single parameter are supported, and the
result of the invoked method is mapped in the activity Results output parameter.
The Mode parameter applies to a Web service only and describes the way a request
has to be performed:
• Synchronous (SYNC): Sends a request and waits for a response
before continuing
• Asynchronous (ASYNC): Sends a request and uses callback to get a response
• Oneway: Sends request without blocking (ignore response)
The Web service runtime leverages the "dynamic clients" features of the Apache CXF
framework in order to generate Java classes at runtime.
[ 159 ]
BPMN Constructs
Please visit http://cxf.apache.org/docs/dynamic-clients.
html for the official reference documentation.
A Service task can be really useful for rapid prototyping, but when it comes to
complex external service integration, it falls short in meeting common development
needs: multiple parameter passing, additional Web service configuration, and so on.
The following example demonstrates how to override the standard jBPM service
task component by adding a custom workItem handler. Note, however, that the
input/output parameters of the custom service task handler cannot be changed from
the process designer because the task interface is defined in the configuration files of
the jBPM workItem handlers.
WorkItem handlers are thoroughly explained in Chapter 7, Customizing
and Extending jBPM.
Example test class:
Example process:
Description: The first test (testJavaServiceTask) launches the process with a
standard Java Service task (Interface: ServiceJavaTask, Operation: processOrder,
Parameter: order, ParameterType: Order). The Service task changes the note field of
the order and returns it to the main process whose script activity traces the change
to the console. The second test (testJavaCustomServiceTask) features a custom
Service task handler (PacktServiceTaskHandler) that overrides the default handler
and processes the order parameter, setting its note property with a specific value.
Rule Task
The (Business) Rule tasks let us execute rules and get output from the embedded rule
engine (Drools). Remember that process variables can be shared with the Rule tasks
by using global variables or Drools session facts.
Example class:
[ 160 ]
Chapter 5
Example knowledge artifacts:
rule.bpmn, rule.drl
Description: The main process is started, and the rule task triggers when the order
cost is >100, and as a result, it changes the order's note property to URGENT. Look at
the rule.drl file:
global StringBuffer newnote;
global com.packt.masterjbpm6.pizza.model.Order orderglobal;
rule "checkorder" ruleflow-group "masterRuleGroup"
$o: com.packt.masterjbpm6.pizza.model.Order (cost>100)
System.out.println ("checkorder triggered");
String desc="big order ! (cost="+$o.getCost()+")";
newnote.append (desc);
The order variable (with cost > 100) is inserted into the knowledge session to
activate the rule that triggers when Order (cost > 100); see the RuleTaskTest.
testRule() method:
While the shared orderglobal variable is used to get the result back:
ksession.setGlobal("orderglobal", order);
Send/Receive Task
Send/Receive tasks are general-purpose messaging tasks since they do not
provide a default implementation. They are handled as workItem and it is up
to the implementer to back them with a working implementation through the
WorkItemHandler interface, registering it with the jBPM WorkItemManager.
The workItem name of the receive task must be Receive Task. Receive Task refers to
the message ID through the messageRef attribute; the handler receives the message
ID value with the MessageId parameter.
[ 161 ]
BPMN Constructs
The workItem name of the send task must be Send Task. Send Task refers to the
message ID through the messageRef attribute; for additional reference, check the
Intermediate Message event.
Example class
com.packt.masterjbpm6.task.TaskTest (method testSendReceive)
Example process artifacts:
Description: The subprocess send task passes data to the receive task of the parent
process. The test registers two custom workItem handlers, and the Send task and the
Receive task share a message by using a global process variable.
Manual Task
A manual task defines a task that is to be performed externally to the engine. It
is used to model work that is done by a stakeholder without interacting with the
system; the engine does not know anything about the task, and it does not need to.
There is no UI interface or system available for the manual task completion. For the
engine, a manual task is managed as a passthrough activity. It continues the process
from the moment process execution arrives into it.
Ad hoc (Custom or None) Task
The custom task is an empty, generic, unspecialized unit of work. The implementer
is requested to provide a WorkItemHandler implementation for the task and register
it with WorkItemManager
Void registerWorkItemHandler(String workItemName, WorkItemHandler
[ 162 ]
Chapter 5
See Chapter 7, Customizing and Extending jBPM for detailed sections
on the WorkItemHandler architecture.
The handler is registered for all workItems of the given workItemName and is called
every time the process activates a node with that name. Further, workItemName
must match the taskname attribute of the task element. WorkItemHandler is
responsible for completing or aborting the task instance.
See the Conditional events section for a working example.
Async tasks
We are now going to take a closer look at some peculiar usage of the custom
task. In Chapter 4, Operation Management we introduced the new jBPM executor
service and the job scheduling features of the KIE console. The custom task can be
conveniently configured to instruct the executor to call service-oriented components
in an asynchronous fashion by scheduling an execution job in the background. The
jBPM handler responsible for the job submission is org.jbpm.executor.impl.wih.
AsyncWorkItemHandler (more on this in Chapter 7, Customizing and Extending jBPM).
The jBPM process designer gives you the ability to toggle a waitfor-completion flag on the workitem handler node. This flag does
not reflect the sync/async nature of the handler invocation. It does tell
the engine to evaluate (by an event listener) the handler results and
map them back to the process context variables, using the task output
mapping. If the flag is set to false, the custom task results will be ignored.
We can configure an async task by doing the following:
• Specifying async as the task taskName property
• Adding a data input parameter called CommandClass, and assigning a fully
qualified Java class name to the schedule
• (Optional) adding a data input parameter called Retries, which tells the
executor how many times the execution should be retried (default = 3)
Chapter 4, Managing Jobs and Asynchronous Command Execution explains
in detail how to write Command classes.
The example that we discuss sets our AsyncTaskCommand as CommandClass, starts
the executor service, and registers AyncWorkItemHandler.
[ 163 ]
BPMN Constructs
Example class:
Example process artifacts:
Call Activity Task
The call activity task is a general-purpose means to reuse existing, externally defined
business constructs (process) simply by specifying their ID (the calledElement
attribute of bpmn2:callActivity) or Name (calledElementByName). The execution
of the called element can be synchronous/asynchronous (waitForCompletion=true)
or independent (independent=true). You can set independent to false only if
waitForCompletion is true.
All these properties are easily set, as usual, through both the jBPM Eclipse plugin or
the KIE process editor; we extract from the process definition, for reference purposes,
the relevant XML for the callActivity construct:
<bpmn2:callActivity drools:waitForCompletion="true"
drools:independent="true" name="CallActivity"
The following figure shows the main process on the left and the callactivitySub1
process "zoomed out" from the CallActivity node:
[ 164 ]
Chapter 5
The callee construct supports, like other activity nodes (tasks), data input and output
mappings from/to the caller process, as we are going to see in the
following example.
Example class:
(testIndependentSubprocess method)
Example process artifacts:
callactivity.bpmn (parent process), callactivitySub1.bpmn (subprocess
called by the callActivity construct)
Description: The main process is started and callActivity is executed; the main
process passes the process order variable to callActivity. The callActivity
subprocess modifies the order variable and returns it to the calling process definition.
As a side note, if we examine the PROCESSINSTANCELOG table, we can see the two
instances of the processes (the main and the called process) logged; their parentship
relation is saved through the PARENTPROCESSINSTACEID column; it shows
that callactivitySubprocess is a child process of the callactivityprocess. This is the
output when callActivity has the independent=true and waitforcompletion=true
properties set.
Let us look at another example and see how the independent property affects the
called subprocess.
Example class:
com.packt.masterjbpm6.task.CallactivityTaskTest (method
Example process artifacts:
callactivityabort.bpmn (parent process),
callactivitysubprocessabort.bpmn (subprocess called by the call
activity construct)
[ 165 ]
BPMN Constructs
Description: The callactivityabort process is started, and callActivity (with
independent=false) is executed. The subprocess referenced by callActivity
(callactivitysubprocessabort) has a human task, so it stops for user interaction.
This gives us the time to issue (see the test class code) abortProcessInstance on
the parent process. The independent flag set to FALSE forces callActivity (that is, the
waiting subprocess) to abort contextually to the main process instance; when the flag
is set to TRUE, the callActivity is not affected (see previous example).
This is the output when aborting the parent process instance, which has callActivity
with the independent=false property set. Note also that status = 3 (ABORTED)
for both process instances.
A subprocess, as the name suggests, is a process that is included within another
process. It can contain activities, events, gateways, and so on, which form a boxed
process that is part of the enclosing process. The subprocess can be completely
defined inside a parent process (an embedded subprocess) or can be linked through
a CallActivity element by its ID or Name property. You can link a subprocess (by
callActivity) across different multiple process definitions, reusing common groups
of process elements (activities, gateways, and so on). The embedded subprocess
construct can have multi-instance capabilities (see the MultiInstance section).
However, using a subprocess does impose the following constraints:
• Sequence flow cannot cross subprocess boundaries
• Process variables must be mapped for input and/or output
At the designer level, a subprocess can be expanded or collapsed so as to hide or
show its details.
Ad hoc subprocess
Ad hoc subprocesses are commonly used when a number of tasks can be selected and
performed in any order (because unspecified or unknown), and there is no execution
dependency between them. Tasks might have unknown dependencies, most often
because they are dynamic and managed by a human user on a case-by-case basis. The
subprocess can complete even if some of the tasks are not executed at all. An ad hoc
subprocess is represented as a subprocess with a tilde (˜) marker at the base.
[ 166 ]
Chapter 5
The jBPM ad hoc subprocess implementation seems to be fairly incomplete. There
seem to be some issues when exiting from the subprocess instance. The user is able to
start the ad hoc subprocess activities by using the signal method by referencing the
activity name:
ksession.signalEvent("report1", null, processInstance.getId());
Because of their nature, ad hoc subprocesses are hard to design and of little use
in real structured business processes; nevertheless, here, we provide you with an
example that you can tweak and experiment with:
Example class:
Example process artifacts:
Description: The ad hoc subprocess has 2 script activities and 1 human task.
The script tasks are signaled, and the human task is completed.
[ 167 ]
BPMN Constructs
Multiple instances
This construct can be used to create multiple instances of a reusable subprocess
definition as well as an embedded subprocess. Passing an input parameter collection
works as the instantiation loop. jBPM will create one instance of the looping process
for each element in the collection. The following figure shows the process with the
embedded multi-instance subprocess (Log pizzas, the parallel symbol denotes that
it is a multi-instance process) and the subprocess attributes. The loop input is the
process variable list and the loop instance parameter (the collection item) is item of
type Pizza. The item variable is visible in the instantiated subprocess scope.
Example class:
Example process artifacts:
Description: The process is created by passing a variable list of pizzas:
List<Pizza> myList = new ArrayList<Pizza>();
myList.add(new Pizza(PizzaType.getType(Types.MARGHERITA),
myList.add(new Pizza(PizzaType.getType(Types.NAPOLI), "assorreta!"));
params.put("list", myList);
ProcessInstance processInstance =
ksession.startProcess("multiinstance", params);
Subsequently, two subprocess instances are created, and each is passed the loop item
variable (a Pizza instance). The subprocess script activity simply prints the pizza
description, and the subprocess exits.
System.out.println("pizza desc " + item.getDesc());
[ 168 ]
Chapter 5
A lane is a partitioning box-shaped element used to group activities within the
process definition. Lanes can be used to visually point out different group task
assignments. For example, you can think of a lane as a company department (IT,
business administration, and so on) where all employees have (more or less) the
same duties. jBPM will try to assign (making a task reserved for the user) all tasks
within the same lane to the same user. For example, if there are several tasks on a
lane, the user who claimed and completed the first task will be assigned to the other
tasks on the lane. Usually, it is convenient to assign the same group ID to all the tasks
in the same lane.
Example class:
Example process artifacts:
Description: The task1 and task2 (on lane) activities are assigned to the
pizzerianapoli group, while Mario's Task is assigned to the actor Mario.
taskNotInLane is also assigned to pizzerianapoli but it's not on lane.
After the process is started, the actor Luigi (belonging to the pizzerianapoli group;
see the LaneUserCallBack class) has 2 tasks on the list (task1 and taskNotInLane).
After he completes task1, he is automatically given the task2 activity
(status = Reserved), while the taskNotInLane status remains unchanged (Ready).
[ 169 ]
BPMN Constructs
Data objects
Data objects are BPMN constructs that represent how data is required or produced
by an activity. Data objects can have a direct association to one or more activity
providing the input or the target output for that activity.
Example class:
Example process artifacts:
Description: The task1 and task2 activities share the same data object (pizza class type);
the first task produces the pizza, which then serves as the input of the second task.
In this chapter, we examined the jBPM BPMN constructs, providing hands-on
working examples, tips, and, whenever possible, some details regarding the jBPM
internal mechanisms. The chapter is not meant to be a BPMN tutorial or a BPMN
best practices modeling guide for which we suggest picking more suitable books and
a lot of real-world practice. In the next chapter, we will cover the jBPM subsystems
API with several practical examples: the new Kie API, the runtime engine, the
human task service, and the persistence engine.
[ 170 ]
Core Architecture
Chapter 1, Business Process Modeling – Bridging Business and Technology, provided you
with an overview of the new KIE platform and the jBPM tool stack components. This
chapter will show you how jBPM is built and what its components and subsystems
are, and it will take you through the source code of jBPM, illustrating, with
examples, how to leverage the flexibility provided by its modular system.
The list of topics that we will cover in this chapter is as follows:
• Core API
• Runtime engine
• Human Task service
• Persistence and transaction
• History logs
The new KIE API stems from the need for providing both a new common software
service layer and an integrated IDE (Workbench) for well-assessed Red Hat projects,
mainly Drools and jBPM. With the KIE API, several features have been added to ease
the integration of these platforms with several environments: JMS, Rest, SOAP, CDI,
Spring, Seam, OSGi, and plain Java applications.
The droolsjbpm-integration additional project (hosted at https://github.com/
droolsjbpm/droolsjbpm-integration) features integration packages for various
environments and technologies.
[ 171 ]
Core Architecture
We previewed some of the new KIE concepts in Chapter 4, Operation Management (new
Maven-based deployments, KieModule, the kmodule.xml file, and KieScanner), so
you should be ready to go deeper into the subject. You will also find, as a companion
support for our examples, class diagrams of specific KIE component relationships,
which should help you to have a clearer picture of the internal KIE organization.
http://www.kiegroup.org is the portal for all KIE technologies.
KieServices is a thread-safe singleton, which acts as a service factory. It gives
high-level access to main KIE components and services.
It is possible to obtain a KieServices reference via its factory as follows:
KieServices ks = KieServices.Factory.get();
The main KIE API services are as follows:
• KieContainer: This is essentially a wrapper for KieModule and KieBase(s) that
it defines; it can compile and verify KieBase and generate new KieSession(s).
• KieRepository: This is a repository that manages KieModules abstracting
away from the module source; it can be a module installed in a Maven
repository or a module programmatically created and added by the user.
• KieScanner: This is a Maven repository artifacts scanner.
• KieBuilder: This is a helper for compiling and building a KieModule starting
from its set of source files.
• KieResources: This is a factory for creating specialized resources from
various I/O sources (Classpath, URL, and so on).
• KieLoggers: This is a logger configurator for the session.
• KieStoreServices: This is a store service that manages the persistency of the
jBPM and Drools runtime state.
• KieMarshallers: Marshalling provides a customizable serialization
architecture, utility classes, and strategies. We will describe the jBPM flexible
marshalling architecture in Chapter 7, Customizing and Extending jBPM.
Let us start by discussing the KIE API components whose duties are related to the
jBPM runtime configuration and setup, since all your knowledge artifacts represent,
at runtime, the engine's building ground for your business process execution.
[ 172 ]
Chapter 6
The upcoming sections are not logically grouped under this
KieServices section since they all are KIE first class citizens (classes)
and can be used and created irrespective of the KieServices factory
class. You can find the complete source code examples for this
chapter in the jbpm-misc project.
KieContainer – KIE modules and KieBase(s)
KieContainer has been specifically designed to handle a KIE module and resolve its
dependencies (other KIE modules or Mavenized JARs), even through remote Maven
repositories. This is a huge improvement in terms of knowledge module sharing and
management capabilities, compared to older jBPM versions. While a KIE module is
an assembly that collects a set (archive) of business artifacts and static resources, it is
the responsibility of KieContainer to organize the KieBase and KieSession definitions
and to give the user the tools to obtain new ready-to-use references
for them.
You can find the examples in the KieContainerTest class.
KieContainer can use the Java Classpath or the user-provided ClassLoader to
detect, load, and wrap an existing KieModule:
KieContainer kContainer = ks.getKieClasspathContainer();
The getKieClasspathContainer() function returns KieContainer that wraps
KieBase found in your current Classpath (created by parsing the available
kmodule.xml files).
In Chapter 4 Operation Management, we talked about the new Maven repository
integration feature. KieContainer is able to load KieModule from a Maven
repository, given its Maven GroupId-ArtifactId-Version (GAV); use the
ReleaseId class as follows:
// create the Maven GAV wrapper
ReleaseId releaseId = ks.newReleaseId("com.packt.masterjbpm6",
"pizzadelivery", "1.0-SNAPSHOT");
// then create the container to load the existing module
KieContainer kieContainer = ks.newKieContainer(releaseId);
[ 173 ]
Core Architecture
The container, by putting the KIE client repository service at work, is also able to
dynamically update its definitions starting from a different KIE module, given its
Maven GAV. As a result, all its existing KieBase assets and KieSession definition
will be incrementally updated (and the cached class definitions will be replaced
with newer ones).
ReleaseId newReleaseId = ks.newReleaseId("com.packt.masterjbpm6",
"pizzadelivery", "1.1-SNAPSHOT");
// update the container with the KIE module identified by its GAV
Results result = kieContainer.updateToVersion (newReleaseId);
if (result.hasMessages (Level.ERROR))
List<Message> errors= result.getMessages(Level.ERROR);
KieBase (KnowledgeBase) is the building block of KieModule. The KieBase class
works as the store for the KieModule knowledge definitions and serves as a
dictionary for your KIE session. It contains Drools rules, processes, models, and so
on. By default, these artifacts are searched in the KIE project resources root folder,
but you can set the packages attribute to search in a different folder, for example
(an excerpt of a kmodule.xml):
<kbase name="kbase" packages="com.packt.masterjbpm6.event">
This will load artifacts from the resources/com/packt/masterjbpm6/event
project folder.
Your KieModule must always have at least one named KieBase (that is, its name
attribute must be set); alternatively, if you decide to use a default (that is, created
without knowing its name) KieBase, omit the <kbase> element definition altogether
in your kmodule.xml or leave the kmodule.xml empty.
KieSession does not make much sense without an underlying KieBase.
The KIE runtime, in case the user is not specifying one, provides
you with a default KieBase. This default KieBase is KieBase with the
attribute packages="*", meaning that it is defined with all assets
contained in all module packages.
[ 174 ]
Chapter 6
KieBase is created by KieContainer and supports inheritance (inclusion) and
multiple definitions:
• Inclusion: All knowledge artifacts belonging to "included KieBase" are
added to "including KieBase"; for example, all kbaseold resources are
added to the kbasenew KieBase:
<kbase name="kbase" includes="kbaseold"
<ksession name="ksession" />
The included KieBase must be already available (the KieModule within which it
is defined has to be deployed) or defined locally (the same kmodule.xml file). In
Chapter 4, Operation Management (the ManagedVesuvio repository example), the
Napoli KieModule's kbase is included the Vesuvio's kbase in order to reuse its
external process definition as a subprocess; let us clarify by looking at their Kie
module definitions.
The Napoli kbase definition (relevant part only) is as follows:
<kbase name="kbase-napoli" default="true" packages="*"
The Vesuvio kbase definition is (relevant part only) as follows:
<kbase name="kbase-vesuvio" default="false" packages="*">
Note that, in order to have KIE pick up the main kbase (kbase-napoli), we set
kbase-vesuvio kbase's default attribute to false.
• Multiple definitions: Multiple KieBase (and KieSession) can be defined
inside a single KieModule:
<kbase name="kbase" includes="kbaseold"
<ksession name="ksession" />
<kbase name="kbaseold" packages="com.packt.masterjbpm6.event">
<ksession name="ksession2" />
Once the KieBase is defined, you can create a stateful KieSession (the default one or a
named one, by passing its name attribute).
KieSession kieSession=kieContainer.newKieSession ("ksession");
[ 175 ]
Core Architecture
Each KieSession is always paired with a single KieBase: KieContainer actually
delegates the session creation to its KieBase.
KieBase and KieSession support a number of declarative configuration
settings that you can add to your kmodule.xml file; please consult the
jBPM 6.2 reference documentation.
The following class diagram shows the main classes that you have to deal with when
working with containers (sessions will be discussed in a forthcoming section).
The KIE builder API
It's very likely that you might have already used KnowledgeBuilderFactory
and KnowledgeBuilder to set up KnowledgeBase: KnowledgeBuilder parses the
knowledge source files (process bpmn files, Drools .drl rule, and so on), and turns
them into KnowledgePackage that KnowledgeBase can use. The resources are
identified and added by type (ResourceType enum). KnowledgeBase is deprecated,
but KieBase is actually implemented by KnowledgeBaseImpl.
[ 176 ]
Chapter 6
The KIE API gives you tools specialized in managing KieModule: file creation
and resource assembling, module dependency management, and building and
deployment to Maven repositories. The following class diagram shows the main
builder related classes (for a quick reference purpose only).
You can find the examples in the KieBuilderTest and
KieResourceTest classes.
The resource is a contract representation of a knowledge element (process, rule, and
so on) or a resource that indirectly can be used to load a Kie module (for example:
a path to kmodule.xml).
[ 177 ]
Core Architecture
The KieResources factory eases the task of handling objects in the forms of org.
kie.api.io.Resource; for example:
Resource res=ks.getResources().newFileSystemResource (new
This resource represents the path that contains a KIE module.
While KieContainer represents an abstraction, the very nature of KieModule
is based on business asset files (resources): KieModule is a container of all the
resources needed to define a set of KieBase classes.
The module project source structure must be compliant with the standard
layout for a Maven project (such as src/main/resources).
• pom.xml defining the KieModule Maven GAV
• kmodule.xml declaring KieBase, KieSession, and their properties
• knowledge artifacts
KieModule tracks the module dependencies from other Kie modules and from other
plain JAR archives thanks to the pom.xml file.
KieBuilder allows you to build KieModule by adding resources and configuration
files through a set of model classes (metamodels), which represent the key
KieModule components:
• KieModuleModel: A KieModule abstraction
• KieBaseModel: A KieBase abstraction
• KieSessionModel: A KieSession abstraction
The memory-based filesystem class (KieFileSystem) helps you with the creation/
writing of the KIE module files (pom.xml and kmodule.xml). The following class
diagram shows KieBuilder and the related classes (details ahead).
[ 178 ]
Chapter 6
Let us see a practical example of KIE metamodel creation and usage in order
to set up and install a KIE module (with dependencies) from scratch into a
Maven repository.
You can find the complete example in the KieBuilderTest class
KieServices ks = KieServices.Factory.get();
// create the KIE module model
KieModuleModel kmodule = ks.newKieModuleModel();
// create the KieBase model
KieBaseModel kieBaseModel = kmodule.newKieBaseModel("KBase");
// create the KieSession model
KieSessionModel ksession1 =
KieFileSystem kfs = ks.newKieFileSystem();
ReleaseId rid = ks.newReleaseId("com.packt.masterjbpm6",
"pizzaDeliveryNew ", "1.0");
// generate pom.xml file
// and write the <kmodule> xml file
[ 179 ]
Core Architecture
When your file set is ready, pass KileFileSystem (content) to the builder:
KieBuilder kieBuilder = ks.newKieBuilder(kfs);
// add dependencies (here, we put jar Files as Resources but you
// can use one or more KieModule too)
Resource dependencyRes = ks.getResources().newFileSystemResource(new
File("c:/temp/pizzadelivery-1.0.jar "));
We can now perform the "build." The build compiles all module knowledge
packages and Java classes, validates the configuration files (pom.xml and
kmodule.xml), and finally, installs the module in the local KIE repository:
if (kieBuilder.getResults().hasMessages(Level.ERROR)) {
Programmatically creating KieModule means you have to create the object in a fileoriented way, for example:
String myprocess= "<?xml version=\"1.0\" encoding=\"UTF-8\"?> \n
<definitions id=\"Definition\"\n" +
kfs.write("src/main/resources/process.bpmn", myprocess);
The runtime will create the file following your KieModule filesystem structure.
Repositories and scanners
Maven repositories, as we already pointed out, are an important piece of the new Kie
architecture: the repository service allows you to manage module installation and
dependency resolution with the internal KIE repository:
KieServices ks = KieServices.Factory.get();
KieRepository kr = ks.getRepository();
To add a module to the KIE repository store, you must provide the path to the
kmodule.xml file or the path to the built KIE module JAR file:
Resource kieresource= ks.getResources().newFileSystemResource(new
// or
[ 180 ]
Chapter 6
// add to the KIE repo
KieModule kModule = kr.addKieModule(kieresource);
// load and use the module
KieContainer kContainer = ks.newKieContainer(kproj.getReleaseId());
The addKieModule method accepts the optional module resource dependencies
(again, in the form of a kmodule.xml path or a path to a JAR archive).
To load a module from the repository is as simple as follows:
ReleaseId releaseId = ks.newReleaseId("com.packt.masterjbpm6",
"pizzadelivery", "1.0-SNAPSHOT");
KieModule kModule=kr.getKieModule(releaseId);
The repository service wraps the internal Maven KIE repository services as well as
the KieScanner service that we are now going to see.
KieScanner is a monitor for Maven repositories (both local and remote) used for
automatically detecting whether there are updated releases for a given KieModule:
in case, a new deployed artifact for the module is found, the scanner updates
KieContainer to reflect the changed definitions (KieBase, KieSession, and so on).
The KIE module KieBase(s) is rebuilt, and all the new KieSessions created from
KieContainer will use the updated KIE module definitions.
The scanner can perform a blocking scan update (the scanNow() method), which
returns after the (eventual) update process is completed, or a background scanning
process (the start(long pollingInterval) and stop() methods).
KieServices ks = KieServices.Factory.get();
ReleaseId releaseId = ks.newReleaseId("com.packt.masterjbpm6",
"pizzadelivery", "1.0-SNAPSHOT");
KieContainer kieContainer = ks.newKieContainer(releaseId);
// bind the scanner to the container
KieScanner scanner = ks.newKieScanner(kieContainer);
// synchronous scanner
The scanner works only when the paired KieContainer's module
Maven version (the V from its GAV) is not a FIXED version. Only
modules with a version with the qualifier SNAPSHOT, LATEST, or
RELEASE, or ranged versions are processed. See Maven versions
reference for additional help.
[ 181 ]
Core Architecture
The scan operation performs the following actions:
• Build the new Kie module, searching for errors
• Update old module dependencies
• Update the old module assets, compile them, and rebuild the module
knowledge bases
• If no build error is detected, the updated module is added to the KIE
module repository
If there are new or updated classes in use by the knowledge base, then this is fully
recreated; otherwise, its resources are incrementally updated. Obsolete knowledge
bases and sessions (whose definition has been removed) are deleted from the Kie
container. The general advice with the scanner is to be very cautious and to evaluate
its impacts on a case-by-case basis.
The example KieScannerTest class provides you with two test methods:
• testScannerUpdateNewSession: This verifies whether a Kie module process
definition gets updated after the scan process by creating a new session and
verifying that the update process variable returns a different value from the
original definition
• testScannerSameSessionAfterUpdate: This verifies whether after the scan,
the existing session continues using its old process definition, while a new
KIE session picks up the updated process definition
The scanner is a nice improvement over the previous jBPM knowledge base update
mechanism (KnowledgeAgent) since it works in tight integration with Maven and
provides the implementer with an asset-oriented programming style in handling
KIE modules, Kie project sources, and assets. This great addition makes jBPM fit
a lot better in the typical agile, lean development environment. Just think about
the possibilities you have when integrating with Continuous Integration (CI),
deployment, and automated test tools. You may have a scanner process that checks
your nightly build Maven repo trunk, updates your KIE module with the latest
development version of your assets, and triggers your automated test suite.
The KieScanner API implementation and utility classes belong to the
kie-ci project (https://github.com/droolsjbpm/drools/tree/
[ 182 ]
Chapter 6
The Scanner API also provides a Maven helper class, which manages artifact lookup
and deployment to the system Maven repository:
MavenRepository repo = MavenRepository.getMavenRepository();
List<DependencyDescriptor> dependencies = repo.
Artifact module = repo.resolveArtifact(ks.newReleaseId(
"com.packt.masterjbpm6", "pizzadelivery", "1.0"));
The KieScannerTest jUnit test class exercises the scanner and the builder API.
It creates and deploys a new release for the pizzadelivery KieModule (the
buildModuleForScannerUpdate method) and then, starts the scanner update
process (the testScannerUpdate() method).
The KieLoggers factory allows you to create audit loggers that produce log traces of
all the events occurring during the execution of a specific KIE session. The following
types of loggers are available:
• File based logger: Logger to file with a default .log extension; it traces the
event in an XML serialized format:
KieRuntimeLogger logger = loggers.newFileLogger(ksession,
See the KieLoggersTest.testLoggers method for the complete example.
• Console based logger: Traces the log to the standard output:
KieRuntimeLogger logger = loggers.newConsoleLogger(ksession);
Here you have an example when running the testRuleWithConsoleLogger
method; you can see the insertion of the Drools fact and the Drool
rule triggering:
13:31:03.459 [main] INFO o.d.c.a.WorkingMemoryConsoleLogger
factId: 1
13:31:03.708 [main] INFO o.d.c.a.WorkingMemoryConsoleLogger BEFORE RULEFLOW GROUP ACTIVATED
[ 183 ]
Core Architecture
13:31:03.724 [main] INFO o.d.c.a.WorkingMemoryConsoleLogger
activationId:checkorder [1] declarations:
ruleflow-group: masterRuleGroup
• Threaded logger: Same as the file-based logger but executes writes to the
file in an asynchronous fashion; it features an option to set the write (flush)
interval period in milliseconds, for example:
// update the log file every 5 seconds
KieRuntimeLogger logger =
"c:/temp/kie_threaded", 5000);
See the testRuleWithThreadedLogger example for the complete example.
Logger classes extend WorkingMemoryLogger, which implements all the available
event listener interfaces: Process, Agenda, Rule, and (KIE) KnowledgeBase.
Since several events are generated, you're given the ability to control event
filtering with the following methods: addFilter, removeFilter, and passing an
ILogEventFilter implementing class. We can declare and configure the KieSession
loggers directly in the kmodule.xml file, for example:
<fileLogger id="filelogger" file="mysession.log" threaded="true"
interval="10" />
<consoleLogger id="consolelog" />
[ 184 ]
Chapter 6
The following class diagram shows the loggers and the event listener interfaces:
org.kie.api.persistence.jpa.KieStoreServices is an interface that defines
the contract for the KIE session persistence service. Its default implementation
is the org.drools.persistence.jpa.KnowledgeStoreServiceImpl class. Let
us have a look at how KieStoreServices can be used to restore KIE sessions by
using the session ID. The following example is an excerpt of the StorageTest.
testRuleWithStorageServer method. It demonstrates how you can load your Kie
session safely from the persistence store and execute the business process consistently.
KieServices ks = KieServices.Factory.get();
KieStoreServices storeservice = ks.getStoreServices();
KieContainer kContainer = ks.getKieClasspathContainer();
[ 185 ]
Core Architecture
KieBase kbase = kContainer.getKieBase("kbase");
// initialize the Session Environment with EMF and the TM
Environment env = EnvironmentFactory.newEnvironment();
env.set(EnvironmentName.ENTITY_MANAGER_FACTORY, super.getEmf());
// current Bitronix transaction manager
// create the session
ksession = storeservice.newKieSession(kbase, null, env);
// perform the Rule task test
long id = ksession.getIdentifier();
// dispose the session
// reload the session given its ID
KieSession loadedsession = storeservice.loadKieSession(id, kbase,
// check it is the same session
assertEquals(id, loadedsession.getIdentifier());
// rerun the test on the loaded session
ksession = loadedsession;
RuntimeManager service and the engine
RuntimeManager has been introduced to simplify the configuration of KieBase
(KnowledgeBase) and KieSession (KnowledgeSession). Its main duty is to manage
and create instances of RuntimeEngine according to predefined strategies (see the
Runtime strategy section).
org.kie.api.runtime.manager.RuntimeEngine is the entry point to the engine
services; its main purpose is to provide the user with pre-configured and ready-touse engine components:
• KieSession
• TaskService
• AuditService
[ 186 ]
Chapter 6
org.kie.api.runtime.manager.RuntimeManager unburdens the user from the
development of a typical boilerplate code; it sets up the execution environment for
processes (wrapping the KieSession and the task service into the RuntimeEngine)
and manages the following Drools services:
• Scheduler service: The scheduler service manages timer-based jobs for
execution (we have seen it in Chapter 4, Operation Management, and Chapter 5,
BPMN Constructs with Async task)
• TimerService: Implements timer services for the sessions
The runtime manager registers the following items on the session:
• Process workitem handlers (also the default human task workitem handler
which is responsible for managing task nodes)
• Global variables
• Event listeners
Runtime strategy
RuntimeManager implements a runtime strategy that lets you choose how to manage
your KieSession life cycle; let us see the available strategies:
• Singleton (default jBPM strategy for a Kie module): The runtime manages
only one shared RuntimeEngine instance (only one Kie session is active
and shared)
• PerProcessInstance: The manager uses a dedicated Kie session for each
process instance; the Kie session life cycle spans the process instance duration
• PerRequest: Invoking the getRuntimeEngine() method returns a new
RuntimeEngine instance (creating a new Kie session and task service
each time)
RuntimeManager must be created from RuntimeManagerFactory, calling one
of its specialized factory methods according to the chosen runtime strategy
(newSingletonRuntimeManager(), newPerRequestRuntimeManager(), or
newPerProcessInstanceRuntimeManager()) and passing an instance of
[ 187 ]
Core Architecture
Choosing the right strategy
You shall choose the right runtime strategy mainly depending on your business and
system specifications. Requirements may constrain you to keep isolated jBPM session
working memories (for example, one session per process instance); in other words,
each session owns its rules, facts, and objects. This could be the case for short-lived
processes in a heavily concurrent system where you need low resource contention
and high throughput.
The singleton strategy, on the other hand, manages a single-thread safe session (with
synchronized access). This could lead to performance issues in highly concurrent
environments (web) but would also allow for all jBPM sharing capabilities (facts
and globals shared among all processes, scope of signals across your entire working
memory, and so on). These are just general insights into the matter, and you should
aim at evaluating your own strategy pros and cons according to your system and
functional requirements.
The RuntimeEnvironment class
This class encapsulates the environment configuration required by RuntimeManager;
we instantiate it by using the RuntimeEnvironmentBuilder helper class:
// preconfigured environment with disabled persistence
// with enabled persistence: emf is your EntityManagerFactory
RuntimeEnvironmentBuilderFactory has several helper methods targeted to create
preconfigured specialized RuntimeEnvironmentBuilder enabled for persistence,
based on the classpath KIE container (kmodule.xml), based on a KIE module (JAR
file), and so on. Since the builder wraps all the configuration details, it exposes
methods to perform the following:
• Add an asset (a BPMN process, Drools rule, and so on)
• Set custom UsergroupCallback
• Set a Knowledge Base (in case your RuntimeEnvironmentBuilder is not a
KIE module classpath builder)
[ 188 ]
Chapter 6
• Set Entity Manager Factory to enable JPA persistence
RuntimeManagerFactory managerFactory =
// pass the RuntimeEnvironment we get from the EnvironmentBuilder
RuntimeManager rtManager=managerFactory.newSingletonRuntimeManager
RuntimeManagers are identified by unique identifiers. The runtime won't accept the
creation of RuntimeManager with the same id of another active RuntimeManager.
The following diagram shows the interactions that take place during the runtime
initialization and that involve the main KIE components:
[ 189 ]
Core Architecture
Runtime Context
RuntimeManager can handle contextual information to look up a specific
RuntimeEngine implementation, depending on the chosen strategy; the context
is passed as a org.kie.api.runtime.manager.Context generic interface
• EmptyContext: Context used with Singleton or PerRequest RuntimeManager;
no specific information is used
• CorrelationKeyContext: Used with PerProcessInstance RuntimeManager
to find RuntimeEngine by using a process instance correlation key
• ProcessInstanceIdContext: Used with PerProcessInstance
RuntimeManager to find RuntimeEngine (and the Kie session) by using a
process instance ID
RuntimeEngine engine = rtManager.getRuntimeEngine(EmptyContext.
// we can now get the initialized services
KieSession ksession = engine.getKieSession();
TaskService taskService = engine.getTaskService();
To avoid resource leakage, it is strongly recommended to dispose RuntimeManager
at the end of a work session, for example:
KieSession is a stateful session that maintains its conversational state with the engine,
across multiple interactions. It is the best way to interact with the engine. Sessions
are created starting from KieContainer, KieBase, or configured RuntimeEngine,
which always delegates to KieBase but gives you the flexibility of choosing
a session runtime policy.
Depending on the enabling of persistence, the session is created as follows:
• In-memory session: All data related to session and the engine status is kept
in memory and lost on engine restart
• JTA session: Session persisted through a JPA EntityManager and a JTA
transaction manager
[ 190 ]
Chapter 6
To create a new (stateful) KieSession, we configure the environment and we use
Environment env = KnowledgeBaseFactory.newEnvironment();
EntityManagerFactory emf= Persistence.createEntityManagerFactory(
"com.packt.masterjbpm6.persistenceunit" ));
env.set( EnvironmentName.ENTITY_MANAGER_FACTORY,emf);
env.set( EnvironmentName.TRANSACTION_MANAGER,
StatefulKnowledgeSession ksession =
JPAKnowledgeService.newKieSession( kbase, null, env );
The example uses Bitronix Transaction Manager (BTM) (more on this in the
Persistence and transaction section).
The returned StatefulKnowledgeSession is of type
CommandBaseStatefulKnowledgeSession, which decorates the session
implementation (StatefulKnowldgeSessionImpl) with a command service
of type SingleSessionCommandService (see the following class diagram).
SingleSessionCommandService transparently manages, through the
TransactionInterceptor class, the persistence of the stateful session
by the JPA SessionInfo entity class.
Stateless KieSession
The stateless KIE session is a wrapper to a stateful session, which the runtime creates
and disposes for the duration of a single command execution so that it does not
maintain a conversational state and cannot persist.
KieSession manages globals; globals are objects used to pass information into the
engine that can be used in processes or rules. Globals are shared across all processes
and rule instances. Let us see what KieSession methods can handle them:
• getGlobals(): Returns the internal globals resolver
• getGlobal (String): Returns the global object given its identifier
• setGlobal(String, Object): Sets the global object assigning it an identifier
[ 191 ]
Core Architecture
The following class diagram shows details for the Session classes:
The CommandExecutor interface
All KIE sessions (both stateless and stateful) implement the CommandExecutor
interface, a service that lets you execute a single command or a batch of commands.
Let us look at some of them:
• Process/Task: CompleteWorkItemCommand, AbortWorkItemCommand,
StartProcessCommand, and so on
• Drools Rules: FireAllRulesCommand, GetFactHandleCommand, and so on
• Runtime: GetGlobalCommand, SetGlobalCommand, and so on
Normally, you would call the higher-level jBPM API methods (using the session
or the task service reference), but sometimes, it could be handy to use the
command classes for batching, scheduling purposes, or management operations.
All the command classes support XML binding thanks to standard annotations
(@XmlRootElement, @XmlAttribute, @XmlElement, and so on) and so, can be easily
serialized or passed remotely. Commands can be created using CommandFactory or
by simply instantiating a specific command class, which is then executed by invoking
the session execute method.
[ 192 ]
Chapter 6
Let us now have a look at how these commands can be created and executed from the
following code:
// create the command and execute
Command startProcess= CommandFactory.newStartProcess
Alternatively, you can instantiate the command on your own:
GetProcessInstanceCommand getProcessInstanceCommand = new
ProcessInstance processInstance = ksession.execute(
getProcessInstanceCommand );
Batch execution
The session supports the execution of a batch of commands by a specialized
BatchExecutionCommand. Here, we rewrite the RuleTaskTest test class of Chapter 5,
BPMP Constructs, by using three different commands (see the CommandsTaskTest.
testRuleWithCommand method):
StringBuffer orderdesc = new StringBuffer();
List<Command> batchcmds = new ArrayList<Command>();
batchcmds.add(CommandFactory.newSetGlobal("newnote", orderdesc));
Order order = new Order();
batchcmds.add(CommandFactory.newSetGlobal("orderglobal", order));
ExecutionResults results = ksession.execute(CommandFactory
BatchExecutionCommand executes the enlisted commands in the exact order that
they have been added:
List<Command> pizzabatchcmds = new ArrayList<Command>();
[ 193 ]
Core Architecture
Note that BatchExecutionCommand, like all Command classes, supports serialization,
so you can pass it remotely for execution or easily persist it for scheduled processing.
Even CompositeCommand can execute multiple commands
sequentially, but it supports human task commands only (inheriting
from TaskCommand). This command is used internally by the task
service (see the Human Task service section).
Event listeners
KIE session can register multiple specialized listeners for different kinds of event
• Process: ProcessEventListener is related to process instance execution
(we saw ProcessEventListener in the KieLoggers section).
• Rule: RuleRuntimeEventListener for events related to facts.
• Agenda: AgendaEventListener for events related to Drools Agenda.
Agenda is a Drools component that keeps track of rule activations
(rule matching) and rule action execution.
By providing a custom implementation of one of these interfaces, you can get the
filtered session events.
All the logger classes obtained from the KieLoggers service extend
the abstract WorkingMemoryLogger class, which implements the
preceding three interfaces. We will see more on event and auditing
in the Audit and history logs section.
We can declaratively register listeners inside the kmodule.xml file:
<ksession name="ksession">
type="com.packt.masterjbpm6.RuntimeEventlistener" />
<agendaEventListener type="com.packt.masterjbpm6.AgendaEventlistener"
<processEventListener type="com.packt.masterjbpm6.
ProcessEventlistener" />
[ 194 ]
Chapter 6
Channels are communication hoses that can be established between your jBPM
application and the engine, through your KIE working session. Their main purpose
is to allow sending objects from the session working memory to a generic external
process or function.
Let us see the basics: You must implement the org.kie.api.runtime.Channel
interface and register it with the session, assigning a name to the channel:
public class RulesAppChannel implements Channel {
// handle the channel object sent
public void send(Object object) {
ksession.registerChannel("appChannel", new RulesAppChannel());
The channel can be used to notify the jBPM application, for instance, of a rule
execution as follows:
$o: com.packt.masterjbpm6.pizza.model.Order (cost>100)
The list of existing channels can be retrieved from the session by calling:
Map <String, Channel> channels=ksession.getChannels();
Check the ChannelsTaskTest.testRuleWithChannel() method for a
working example.
Human Task service
We introduced the human tasks in the previous chapter; we described the human
task state transitions, task rule assignments, and task operations performed by
the stakeholders.
[ 195 ]
Core Architecture
You can get the org.kie.api.task.TaskService task service from RuntimeEngine
(the getTaskService() method), which is a wrapper for the service; the task
service is created and wrapped into RuntimeEngine (and the underlying session)
by RuntimeManager, which uses TakServiceFactory:
InternalTaskService internalTaskService = (InternalTaskService)
The factory used to instantiate TaskService is as follows:
• LocalTaskServiceFactory: To be used in non-CDI environments
The factory configures the task service with the following references:
• EntityManagerFactory instance (taken from RuntimeEnvironment).
• UserGroupCallback (taken from RuntimeEnvironment). If
no custom UserGroupCallback implementation is provided,
a default MvelUserGroupCallbackImpl is used; this loads the
UserGroupsAssignmentsOne.mvel file from jbpm-human-task-core6.2.0.Final.jar (the org\jbpm\services\task\identity package).
• Register task event listeners (instances of the TaskLifeCycleEventListener
• TaskDeadlinesService: This service is responsible for the management of
the deadlines defined for a task and for triggering notifications (we talked
about escalations and notifications in Chapter 5, BPMN Constructs).
The factory also shares, at the environmental level, the following:
• Default DefaultUserInfo instance (loaded with data from a userinfo.
properties file in the classpath, if any)
The task service leverages Commands to execute all common task operations;
commands are executed via CommandService. Let us look at this service class
and its inner working details.
RuntimeManager creates two different types of TaskService:
• CommandBasedTaskService: The default task service implementation
• SynchronizedTaskService: A synchronized task service instance that
wraps CommandBasedTaskService. It is created using the Singleton
runtime strategy
[ 196 ]
Chapter 6
CommandBaseTaskService delegates the API executions to its internal
CommandService executor. This is CommandExecutor and performs all the
task API calls as in the KIE session (see the dedicated The CommandExecutor
interface section), for example:
public void start(long taskId, String userId) {
executor.execute(new CompositeCommand<Void>(
new StartTaskCommand(taskId, userId),
new CancelDeadlineCommand(taskId, true, false)));
The start (task) method, for instance, is executed as CompositeCommand built with
two TaskCommand specializations:
• StartTaskCommand: It performs the task start operation by changing the
state, triggering events on listeners, and so on
• CancelDeadlineCommand: Cancel the matching deadline (if any) for this
task's Start event (see the Deadlines and escalations and the Notifications
sections in Chapter 5, BPMN)
CompositeCommand first executes the command from the varying argument
commands and then, the mainCommand command. Its constructor signature is
as follows:
public CompositeCommand(TaskCommand<T> mainCommand,
TaskCommand<?>...commands) {
TaskCommand and UserGroupCallback
All task commands inherit from the UserGroupCallbackTaskCommand class; they
call specific parent class methods on their execute method in order to trigger
updates to the ORGANIZATIONALENTITY database table.
The TaskContext command
Upon instantiation, each task command is given TaskContext from
CommandExecutor; the context duties are as follows:
• Provides a JPATaskPersistenceContext instance, which handles all the
database-related operations
• Triggers task lifecycle-related events
• Provides the core task-related services to the command
[ 197 ]
Core Architecture
The main task services provided are as follows:
• Instance service (TaskInstanceService): The core service that implements
the WS Human Task specification with respect to the task life cycle
• Query service (TaskQueryService): It returns read-only task instance
information such as a list of tasks assigned to a user, potential owners for a
given task, and so on
• Content service (TaskContentService): It manages task content data
(input and output)
• Deadline service (TaskDeadlineService): It manages the scheduling
of task deadlines
• Attachment service (TaskAttachmentService): It deals with task attachment
• Admin service (TaskAdminService): It provides out-of-the-standard task life
cycle operations such as task removal and task archival
Tasks can be removed (literally deleted from the jBPM persistent store, making them
unavailable for user assignments) but only after they have been marked as "archived."
Transactions and interceptors
TaskService CommandService is implemented by a TaskCommandExecutorImpl
class, which, during initialization, is decorated with an org.jbpm.services.task.
persistence.TaskTransactionInterceptor interceptor. The interceptor wraps
each execute method invocation of the command service between transaction
boundaries managed by the Drools JtaTransactionManager.
Notification service
In Chapter 5, BPMN Constructs, we talked about the human task escalations and
notifications features. The jBPM notification service relies on email messaging;
thus, to work successfully, it requires the following:
• A mail session properly configured
• A UserInfo class instance defined; this provides the user's e-mail address
to notify
jBPM loads the mail session by a Java Naming and Directory Interface (JNDI)
lookup; you can set the JNDI name through the org.kie.mail.session system
property or, alternatively, provide the JNDI name mail/jbpmMailSession in your
application server.
[ 198 ]
Chapter 6
If no JNDI resource is found, jBPM fallbacks to a plain email.properties file
loaded from the classpath.
The file defines the following properties (example values are provided):
We covered the UserInfo class in Chapter 5, BPMN Constructs.
The TaskFluent class
The TaskFluent class is a helper class that lets you conveniently configure and
create a new Task instance and add it to the persistent store through the task
service (see the FluentTest test class):
TaskFluent fluent = new TaskFluent();
fluent.setName("adhoc Human Task");
Task task = fluent.getTask();
// add the task
long taskid = taskService.addTask(task, new HashMap<String,
The WS-HumanTask specification defines the role of the administrator as
the one who can manage the life cycle of the task, even though he might
not be enlisted among the task potential owners. With releases older than
jBPM 6, an "Administrator" user was created by default by jBPM.
The addTask operation requires you to add at least one potential business
administrator for the task (by the setAdminUser() or setAdminGroup() method).
The business administrator entity (user or group) is verified by the runtime with the
current UserGroupCallback to check whether it exists. To check whether business
administrators are task potential owners search the PEOPLEASSIGNMENTS_BAS jBPM
database table.
To ease the test configuration, all our jUnit test classes are configured with a
custom user callback, which lets all users pass (see the MyUserCallback class),
so that "Administrator," "boss," or whatever makes no difference.
[ 199 ]
Core Architecture
The runtime will evaluate the task assignments and their deadlines, and will store
the task data; the engine assigns to the task, the initial state CREATED.
The FluentTest example shows how it is possible to programmatically create,
add, assign, start, and complete new tasks outside the scope of a process definition
(ad hoc tasks).
TaskFluent lets you attach a new task to a given process instance. Since the new task
has no incoming/outgoing connections, this could be of limited use, but it fits very
well with ad hoc processes (see Chapter 5, BPMN Constructs), for example:
Audit and history logs
Auditing is the ability of the engine to let the user configure the collection and the
retrieval of events relative to the runtime process execution. We introduced auditing
and BAM in Chapter 4, Operation Management, and now, we are going to see how to
leverage the engine services to implement auditing at various levels.
When persistence is enabled, ready-to-use preconfigured AuditService
(implemented by JPAAuditLogService) can be borrowed from RuntimeEngine;
it returns process, node, and variable runtime audit data (see the class diagram)
from the three standard jBPM auditing database tables (ProcessInstanceLog,
NodeInstanceLog, and VariableInstanceLog). The audit service stamps each
log entry with an OwnerID attribute, which matches the unique identifier of its
AuditLogService auditservice=engine.getAuditLogService();
List<ProcessInstanceLog> pizzadeliveryLogs= auditservice.findActivePro
This AuditService usage approach (basically as a query service) is a solution that can
be good for BAM or history analysis; however, if we want to collect audit data in
real-time, we have to register a listener with the KIE session (see the Event listeners
section or the next section).
[ 200 ]
Chapter 6
This factory can create ready-to-use JPA- or JMS-enabled audit loggers (see the
following class diagram):
• JPA: A synchronous logger that by default persists the audit events between
engine JTA transaction boundaries
• JMS: Asynchronous logger aimed at JMS queue integration
Remember that the logger has to be bound to KieSession to start logging:
We can set a different EntityManager on the JPA logger by providing custom
EntityManagerFactory to a directly instantiated (no factory) JPAAuditLogService
and, optionally, choosing an auditing strategy:
EntityManagerFactory emf =
AuditLogService logService = new JPAAuditLogService(emf,
This allows us to adapt the engine logging service to our persistence layer
configuration and transaction management: local entity manager and JTA. The main
purpose of the strategy is to instruct jBPM to manage transactions when auditing in
different application environments.
The KIE auditing strategies are as follows:
• KIE_SESSION: Select this strategy when you use the entity manager only
with KieSession (default behavior)
• STANDALONE_LOCAL: Choose this strategy when your application uses
the entity manager outside the scope of KieSession
• STANDALONE_JTA: Same as the previous strategy but uses java:comp/
UserTransaction or java:jboss/UserTransaction to resolve the
transaction (application servers only)
[ 201 ]
Core Architecture
We show the relevant classes in the following class diagram:
Custom logger
To implement custom logging of audit events, you have to extend the
AbstractAuditLogger class or provide a new implementation for the
ProcessEventListener interface.
The supported audit events are as follows:
[ 202 ]
Chapter 6
Events are delivered as the following ProcessEvent implementation classes:
ProcessNodeEvent, ProcessStartedEvent, ProcessCompletedEvent, and
ProcessVariableChangedEvent. In order to convert the incoming typed events to
Log JPA entity classes (that is, VariableInstanceLog), you can use a helper class
AuditEventBuilder builder = new DefaultAuditEventBuilderImpl();
VariableInstanceLog variablelog = (VariableInstanceLog) builder.
// get process variable properties: processId, var. name and value
String processId= variablelog.getProcessId();
String variableId=variablelog.getVariableId();
String value= variablelog.getValue();
// persist
em.persist (variablelog);
Persistence and transactions
The default persistence mechanism of the jBPM engine is based on the JPA 2/
Hibernate implementation. Each engine operation (start process, start task, complete
task, and so on) is run inside the scope of a transaction. TransactionInterceptor
demarcates each command execution and eventually, depending on the transaction
management used (Container Managed Transactions (CMT) or UserTransaction
Bean Managed Transactions (BMT)), enlists the EntityManager engine in the
ongoing transaction. We have seen how both session and task persistence works
through CommandService and the interceptor architecture.
The default engine persistence configuration boils down to the engine persistence
unit (defined in a persistence.xml file configuration) and, usually, to a JTA
datasource definition at the application server level. jBPM imposes no constraints
on the number of entity managers defined; you can obviously have a number of
persistence units defined in your application and make multiple entity managers
coexist with jBPM Entity Manager. You can have a single database (single Entity
Manager) for both jBPM and your application persistence layer or a dedicated jBPM
database (and Entity Manager) and make the engine participate in your business
application transactions.
Chapter 8, Integrating jBPM with Enterprise Architecture, of the jBPM 6.2
user guide explains the detailed configuration and usage of transactions.
[ 203 ]
Core Architecture
Local transactions with Bitronix
We are going to see a complete jBPM persistence example configuration using
local transactions. Bitronix is an open source Transaction Manager framework; it
supports JTA API and the Extended Architecture (XA) protocol and perfectly fits
all cases where a straightforward persistence configuration is needed. The required
configuration steps are as follows:
1. Create the datasource (pooled): The datasource will be bound to the
jdbc/localjbpm-ds JNDI name as follows:
PoolingDataSource pds = new PoolingDataSource();
2. Create the jndi.properties file in your classpath resources, which includes
the following code:
This lets Bitronix context factory initialize the environment and bind
transaction service objects to default JNDI names, notably the following:
User transaction manager at java:comp/UserTransaction
Tx synchronization registry at java:comp/
3. Edit your persistence.xml file, specifying the Bitronix datasource name as
<persistence-unit name="localjbpm-persistenceunit"
<!-- match the bitronix datasource uniqueName -->
[ 204 ]
Chapter 6
4. Now, you can create your EntityManagerFactory as follows:
EntityManagerFactory emf
Managing transactions
jBPM provides an out-of-the-box transactional service to an enterprise application,
which is able to participate in the existing transaction right from the calling
application, so in case of an error (for example, a custom workitem handler throws
an exception or a process node script fails), the engine transaction is marked for
rollback and the exception is sent to the caller.
Let us now see a common example of Entity Manager (EM) and jBPM (managed by
Bitronix) working together (please refer to the AuditTxTest test class):
AuditEntity audit = new AuditEntity();
UserTransaction ut;
try {
ut = (UserTransaction) new InitialContext()
// start process
ProcessInstance pi = ksession.startProcess("auditTxProcess");
// new application database insert
AuditEntity auditproc = new AuditEntity();
auditproc.setDesc("Audit1:process started");
// commit both process instance and audit entity
The default JPA transaction locking scheme used is optimistic. If you need to switch
to a pessimistic locking mode, set the following parameter to TRUE in your org.kie.
api.runtime.Environment instance:
[ 205 ]
Core Architecture
This forces the engine to hold the lock on an entity (locking of type LockModeType.
PESSIMISTIC_FORCE_INCREMENT) to ensure that the object is not modified.
With this chapter, we took an extensive tour to the core engine components and
services, not disregarding some of the engine inner implementation details. You
should now be able to understand how the engine works and what happens "behind
the curtains" when you use a specific engine feature.
The next chapter will deal with the engine customization and extension process in
order to tailor the jBPM system features to your solution.
[ 206 ]
Customizing and
Extending jBPM
This chapter details the extension points of jBPM. Not every user of jBPM uses
the entire tool stack. Users will need to customize/extend jBPM to fit it into their
solution architecture. This chapter will show you how jBPM's features can be
customized and extended.
The list of topics that will be covered in the chapter is as follows:
• Domain-specific processes
• Writing your custom workitem handlers
• Customizing the process designer
• Extending variable persistence
• Extending user management
Custom process nodes
In Chapter 5, BPMN Constructs, we introduced the jBPM feature that lets you bind
specific Java class implementations to the execution of a specific process task node
type: send/receive tasks, service tasks, and ad hoc tasks.
These kinds of extensible task nodes are often called custom workitems, and the
implementing classes that perform the horse work behind the process curtains are
called workitem handlers. This architecture makes jBPM more flexible when it
comes to adapting the engine to a particular domain, both in terms of features and
tools UI. Let's start by reviewing the basics of the jBPM workitem and handlers.
[ 207 ]
Customizing and Extending jBPM
Workitem and handlers
jBPM defines a work item as a unit of work that is defined inside the scope of a
process but can be executed outside the engine; in particular:
• It accepts a set of parameters
• It performs some action
• It optionally returns a result
The workitem is just an abstract definition of a work unit and has several concrete,
practical implementations in jBPM: human tasks, sendMessage tasks, and so on.
The engine imposes no limitations to the workitem handler apart from enforcing the
implementation of the org.kie.api.runtime.process.WorkItemHandler interface.
The engine runtime is instructed to bind a new handler implementation through
the WorkItemManager.registerWorkItemHandler(String workItemName,
WorkItemHandler handler) method, where the workItemName parameter must
match a custom node name since it serves as the handler key.
jBPM itself extensively uses WorkItemHandler such as LocalHTWorkItemHandler
(workitem name Human Task), WebServiceWorkItemHandler (workitem name
WebService), or RESTWorkItemHandler (name Rest). This feature effectively
streamlines the engine customization process, letting the user enhane (or replace)
jBPM functionalities. You can find several jBPM workitem handler classes in the
jpbm-workitems-6.2.0.Final.jar library (see package details in the following
class diagram).
[ 208 ]
Chapter 7
AsyncWorkItemHandler (we discussed it in the Async task section in Chapter 5,
BPMN Constructs) can be found in the jpbm-executor-6.2.0.Final.jar library.
Life cycle
The workitem state transitions are as follows: ACTIVE, PENDING, COMPLETED, and
The WorkItemHandler call sequence is quite simple (see the following interaction
diagrams), and when the handler calls complete or abort, the engine takes the
control again and the process execution continues. The handler must implement
two methods:
• executeWorkItem: The workitem manager invokes the executeMethod
handler and, upon completion (at the end of executeMethod), the handler
must invoke the callback method called completeWorkItem on the manager
itself (optionally passing the output parameters):
[ 209 ]
Customizing and Extending jBPM
• abortWorkItem: This method gets called as a consequence of a cancel or
error event. The handler must perform clean-up operations (when needed)
and call the manager back by the abortWorkItem method, which instructs
the manager to set the workitem in the ABORTED state:
Cacheable and closeable interfaces
jBPM 6.2 introduces a new feature that lets the user hook into the workitem handler
life cycle by implementing the following interface methods:
• org.kie.internal.runtime.Closeable.close(): Called on
WorkItemManager (and Session) disposal. Here, you can perform the typical
housekeeping duties (freeing resources, close connections, and so on).
• org.kie.internal.runtime.Cacheable.close(): Called when the jBPM
internal cache manager is closed/disposed. By implementing the Cacheable
interface, we enable our Workitem handler definition to be cached by jBPM.
The RuntimeManager internally caches several configured object class
definitions to optimize the initialization and startup times: event listeners,
globals, marshalling strategies, Workitem handlers, and so on.
For a Closeable interface example, please have a look at the PizzaTweet handler
implementation discussed in the following paragraphs.
[ 210 ]
Chapter 7
Handlers in action
The workitem customization can be seen as a two-step process:
1. Code implementation and runtime registration: Make the handler
implementation available to the runtime engine in order to trigger the
handler execution when the engine reaches the custom node type
2. Designer customization: Enable the usage of the custom node from the UI
interface (process designer)
Before diving into a detailed example (the pizzatweet project), let us look at the
basics of the workitem architecture and review the three different ways in which we
can register a handler: by direct registration with the API, by setting the kmodule.
xml file, and by adding a handler configuration file.
Direct handler registration
The shortest, naïve way of registering a handler implementation with your engine
session is to make a direct invocation to the Kie session's WorkItemManager:
// register MyWorkItemHandler for all ad hoc(None) task
ksession.getWorkItemManager().registerWorkItemHandler("task", new
This gives you a lot of flexibility; you do not need to define extra configuration files
or properties (more on these in the upcoming section), and you are free to initialize
your handler with everything you need during the execution. This is the preferred
way to go when unit testing, particularly when replacing or defining a system
workitem handler (human task, service, or task) since you do not have to tweak
the Kie console to add the new node type to the Service Task menu, which would
be mandatory to properly design the process definition.
Declarative kmodule.xml handler configuration
In case your project is a Kie module and you need a declarative, a less hardwired
way to define the handlers is to add the <workItemHandlers> element to the
kmodule.xml file as follows:
<kbase name="kbase" >
<ksession name="ksession">
<workItemHandler name="pizzatweet"
[ 211 ]
Customizing and Extending jBPM
Handler configuration file
When you need to add new custom node types, the preferred, standard way to
register your handler implementation is to have it listed in the standard handler
configuration file: the CustomWorkItemHandlers.conf file.
This file must contain the handler implementation class constructors and the
work item name that will be used to register them; here you have, as an example,
the default configuration file shipped with jBPM 6.2:
"Log": new
"WebService": new
"Rest": new
"Service Task" : new
This file is written with the MVEL expression language and is loaded by the jBPM
console runtime from the jbpm-console.war\WEB-INF\classes\META-INF folder;
note that the filename is added to the sibling file called drools.session.conf
whose content is as follows:
drools.workItemHandlers = CustomWorkItemHandlers.conf
Note that from the system default handler definitions (Web Service and
Service Task), by defining a constructor that accepts the ksession
parameter, the KieSession will be automatically injected at runtime in
your handler instance.
The very same property called drools.workItemHandlers is used to load the
handler configuration file(s), for instance, during Kie Session initialization with
KieSessionConfiguration. For example:
// create the session configuration
Properties props = new Properties();
props.setProperty("drools.workItemHandlers", "MyWorkItemHandlers.
KieSessionConfigurationconfig = KieServices.Factory.get().
newKieSessionConfiguration (props);
// create the session
KieSessionksession = kbase.newKieSession(config,
[ 212 ]
Chapter 7
Alternatively, with the runtime builder classes (see Chapter 6, Core Architecture, for
details about runtime classes), you can have the following:
The .conf file is searched in the META-INF/ classpath or in the user.home
system folder.
The property supports multiple space-separated entries such as the
"MyWorkItemHandlers.conf OtherWorkItemHandlers.conf");
Handler definition file
The file that defines the WorkItemHandler process definition node properties is
the workitem definition file (having the .WID extension), and it is written using
the MVEL expression language.
When in the Project Authoring mode, the KIE console creates a default
WorkDefinitions.wid file in your project resources folder that defines the email,
log, webservice, and rest handlers whose custom nodes can be found under the
Service Task menu of the process designer palette. Additional resources (custom node
icons) are created in the global folder.
Here, you define your custom node properties and the workitem abstract definitions:
name (used as the key for the handler), its parameters (input), result parameters
(output), displayName (the label used for the node), and node icon resource. Let us
have a look at our PizzaTweet custom node (we will talk about this in the example
"name" : "pizzatweet",
"parameters" : [
"tweetMsg": new StringDataType (),
"tweetTags" : new ListDataType (),
"tweetOrder" : new ObjectDataType
"results" : [
[ 213 ]
Customizing and Extending jBPM
"details" : new ObjectDataType("java.util.Map"),
"tweetOK": new BooleanDataType()
"displayName" : "Pizza Tweet",
"icon" : "../../../global/defaultservicenodeicon.png"
The "parameters" and "results" attributes are maps of typed parameters
(name-type pairs).
• parameters: Defines the set of input parameters of the workitem
• results: Defines the set of output parameters
The types allowed for the parameters are the ones supported by the Drool core type
classes: StringDataType, IntegerDataType, FloatDataType, BooleanDataType,
EnumDataType, ObjectDataType, ListDataType, and UndefinedDataType.
ObjectDataType wraps a type, while ListDataType wraps java.util.List.
Workitem handler implementation
Your handler must implement the org.kie.api.runtime.process.
WorkItemHandler interface or extend the AbstractWorkItemHandler abstract class.
This class gives you a set of useful helper methods in case your handler needs to get
runtime information from the process or its nodes.
Handling input parameters
The handler can read the input parameters with the WorkItem.getParameter
(String name) method. The input parameters are passed by the engine runtime,
upon evaluation of your node data input set mappings.
Returning results to the process
The handler return object ("results") is defined as a collection of parameters.
Each attribute name must match a data output parameter in the DataOutputSet
node settings ("details" and "tweetOK"), for example:
Map<String, Object> operationresults = new HashMap<String, Object>();
operationresults.put("twitterCode", "200");
results.put("details", operationresults);
results.put("tweetOK", Boolean.TRUE);
[ 214 ]
Chapter 7
The details and tweetOk keys must match both node data output parameter
names (see the screenshot in the Process and task parameter mappings section) and
the workitem handler "results" properties:
"results" : [
"details" : new ObjectDataType("java.util.Map"),
"tweetOK": new BooleanDataType()
The PizzaTweet example
The example guides you through the definition and the installation of a full working
example project, which features a custom workitem that sends messages to Twitter
(Twitter API integration not implemented for clarity).
You can find a Twitter handler implementation in the Red Hat jBPM
service repository: http://people.redhat.com/kverlaen/
The main project (the pizzatweet KIE module) contains the process definition and
the WID file, and it depends on custom types that are defined in the pizzamodel
project (a plain utility JAR). These types are also used as parameter types by the
PizzaTweetHandler handler (defined in the pizzahandlers project, another
plain JAR).
The main project (the KIE module)
The main project depends on the two supplier projects: pizzamodel and
pizzahandlers. Since these two projects are not KIE modules and do not need
additional processing by the KIE runtime (they do not contain jBPM resources), we
have set their Maven dependency scope to provided (see the pom.xml PizzaTweet
project file). This speeds up the Maven build of our main KIE module; kie-maveplugin in fact searches for KIE module dependencies only when their Maven scope
is runtime or compile.
The KIE plugin for Maven (kie-maven-plugin) is the preferred way to build a KIE
module. It ensures that all module business resources are valid at compile time and
that the module can be successfully loaded at runtime. Make sure that you always
have the kie-maven-plugin set in the pom.xml file of your KIE module (see the
following PizzaTweet pom.xml excerpt):
[ 215 ]
Customizing and Extending jBPM
Process and task parameter mappings
After having introduced the pizzatweet custom task definition in the previous
section (the handler definition file), let us now look at how it fits into the process
definition. The process definition is easy to understand; it has the custom tweet task
and a script task that acts as a debugging step. The process variables (msg, order,
and tags) are mapped to the custom task input parameters, while the resulting
parameters (tweetOK, details) are mapped back to process variables (success and
results). The following screenshot shows the Assignments properties panel for the
Pizza Tweet custom node (see the PizzaTweet process definition):
After the tweet task completes, the script task is executed. As mentioned earlier, it
simply dumps the updated process variables to the console for you to see. We are
now going to look at the two dependent projects (handlers and models).
[ 216 ]
Chapter 7
Handler project (pizzahandlers)
This project contains the handler implementation (the PizzaTweetHandler class)
only, the one responsible for sending the tweet. In order to deploy the dependent
pizzahandlers handler project, we have to perform a Maven "clean build install."
The JAR file will then be installed in your system's Maven repository.
Make sure that all the implementation classes and required dependencies
are also available on the classpath of the application war (in this case, the
war is our KIE console war), for example, by copying the required JAR
files in the /lib folder.
Model project (pizzamodel)
The model project defines Java types for the process definition variables and
the handler project parameters. In order to deploy the dependent pizzamodel
project, we have to execute a Maven "clean build install." Thus, the JAR file is
installed in your system's Maven repository so as to make it available to runtime
dependency resolving.
IDE customization
In order to configure the KIE workbench (business process editor) tools and being
able to use our custom node in the process editor, we have to create a workitem
handler file. We create the WEB-INF\classes\META-INF\PACKTworkItemHandlers.
conf file (in the jbpm-console deployment folder) and add the following content:
"pizzatweet": new
Then, we edit the WEB-INF\classes\META-INF\drools.session.conf file by
adding our custom handler .conf filename to the drools.workItemHandlers
property. Thus, the handler definitions from both the files are loaded. Please note
that the handler configuration file names must be separated by a space:
drools.workItemHandlers = CustomWorkItemHandlers.conf
The drools.session.conf file is picked up by the KIE console and
read during KIE session initialization; see the Handler configuration file
section for further details.
[ 217 ]
Customizing and Extending jBPM
Copy the installed pizzahandlers-1.0.0-SNAPSHOT.jar and pizzamodel1.0.0-SNAPSHOT.jar files to the jBPM console's WEB-INF\lib folder (for example,
wildfly-8.1.0.Final\standalone\deployments\jbpm-console.war\WEBINF\lib). This makes both the custom java types and the handler class available
to the Kie console (a jBoss restart is required). Note that the Pizza Tweet (name:
pizzatweet) custom task node is now displayed in the Service Tasks section
of the object library:
Console test run
As of jBPM 6.2.0 release, the KIE console is not much of a help in letting us test our
process, since the generated task forms do not support complex type parameters
automatically (our process takes an input parameter of the Order type); we cannot
easily create our new process instances from here.
The jBPM user guide (Chapter 13, Forms) explains the features shipped
with the KIE console Form Modeler (http://docs.jboss.org/
jbpm/v6.2/userguide/chap-formmodeler.html) and gives useful
instructions on how to create customized human task forms and start
process forms.
[ 218 ]
Chapter 7
However, before leaving the console, let's check whether the process can successfully
deploy without issues. Go to the pizzatweet project from the Tools/Project Details
view and issue build & deploy. The process definition is registered with the runtime,
and we should see it from the Process Management/Process Definitions tab.
Standalone test run
Get the PizzaTweetTest test class from the PizzaTwitter project and run (jUnit) the
newTweet method:
// boilerplate code omitted for clarity;
// register the handler
// init parameters
// start the process
ProcessInstanceinstance = session.startProcess("pizzatweet.tweet",
The console prints the following text; first, we have the following handler log traces:
PizzaTweetHandler.order=order: note=urgent cost=15.0
[ 219 ]
Customizing and Extending jBPM
Then, we have the script task log traces, showing the following handler results:
tweet success:true
After the handler has been locally tested, we can move on and share it with the
development team; this is where the service repository comes to the rescue.
Service repository
jBPM gives us the ability to add any handler to a public service repository; these are
a collection of handler definitions that can be accessed both via HTTP or locally (the
FILE protocol) so that handlers can be shared with the other developers.
At the time of writing this book, the KIE workbench supported two repositories:
http://people.redhat.com/kverlaen/repository and http://people.redhat.
com/tsurdilo/repository. Another repository service is available at http://
docs.jboss.org/jbpm/v6.2/repository/. These repositories host several handler
definitions; some of them are externally defined handlers (which means that the
implementing JAR file is physically hosted in the repository), while other handlers
are already defined in the jBPM runtime (for example, Java, REST, and transform
handlers), and the repository just publishes the extended handler definition (.WID)
file. The service repository is accessible through the Connect to a service repository
button in the business process editor. Here, you have an example repository content
dialog window:
[ 220 ]
Chapter 7
We are going to see how to set up an additional custom local service repository.
For additional details about the service repository, please refer
to Chapter 21, Domain-specific Processes of the jBPM 6.2 user
guide (Service Repository paragraph).
Custom service repository
A service repository is basically a folder structure containing handlers. The folder
structure and the content to load are specified by a set of index.conf files. See the
repo.rar example included with the book's source code.
Create a folder structure for our repository in a local folder (for example, c:/temp/
packtservicerepo) containing the pizzatweet handler folder; inside the handler
folder, we add the enhanced pizzatweet.wid file, which is basically a standard
WID file with the following additional entries:
"defaultHandler" : "com.packt.masterjbpm6.pizzahandlers.
"documentation" : "index.html",
"category" : "examples",
"dependencies" : [
The dependencies path is relative to the handler folder (/lib), and there we copy the
two JAR files: the JAR file containing the handler definition and the JAR file defining
the Java models.
Refer to the details about the pizza handler and model projects
in the PizzaTweet example paragraph.
[ 221 ]
Customizing and Extending jBPM
It's worth mentioning that the WID file must have the handler folder name. After
creating the files, we can open the service repository from the KIE workbench, giving
the following local filesystem path: file:///c:/temp/packtservicerepo.
Now, we can use Install selected item:. This makes the KIE workbench copy the
assets to the internal KIE repository so that the handler becomes available.
jBPM identity management
In Chapter 4, Operation Management, we saw how the KIE workbench features
JAAS-based user authentication and RBAC for the UI functionalities by means
of the user.properties and roles.properties files.
The jBPM engine does not have built-in authentication or fine-grained authorization
functionalities on process creation or task operations. TaskService and the human
task management of users and groups with respect to task operations are delegated
to a custom implementation of the UserGroupCallback interface. Here, the
developer is able to implement his/her own task authorization mechanism by
hooking into a custom identity management system or an ad hoc implementation.
jBPM provides a set of ready-to-use, configurable UserGroupCallback
• DBUserGroupCallbackImpl: Implementation that uses SQL queries to get
user and group data from a database
• LDAPUserGroupCallbackImpl: LDAP system integration
• MvelUserGroupCallbackImpl: Default jBPM implementation when no
callback is specified; the UserGroupsAssignmentsOne.mvel file is read
and evaluated
[ 222 ]
Chapter 7
• JAASUserGroupCallbackImpl: JAAS-based implementation to be used
in a container (JBoss AS and Tomcat):
User callback configuration
The UserGroupCallback implementation is a singleton and can be set on the
environment used to create RuntimeEngine:
// create the environment builder
RuntimeEnvironmentBuilder builder =
// create the manager
RuntimeManagermanager = RuntimeManagerFactory.Factory.get()
.newSingletonRuntimeManager(builder.get(), "manager");
// create the runtimeEngine (omitted)
All of the book's source code examples use a default custom callback
class (MyUserCallback: you can find it in the test-common project).
The callback is set by the PacktJUnitBaseTestCase class from which
every test case borrows the runtime engine, the session, and so on.
[ 223 ]
Customizing and Extending jBPM
The jBPM UserGroupCallback implementations rely on the jbpm.usergroup.
callback.properties system property for the property filename or, alternatively,
on the jbpm.usergroup.callback.properties property file for automatic
configuration. The callback class can have a defined set of properties; let's review
some of them for the classes shipped with jBPM.
The DBUserGroupCallbackImpl class
This callback has the following four properties (let users and groups be the tables
defining our users and groups data):
• db.ds.jndi.name: JNDI name of the data source to be used, for example,
• db.user.query: Query used to verify existence of the user (case-sensitive,
expects a single parameter on position 1), for example:
"select userId from users where userId = ?"
• db.roles.query: Query user to check group existence (case-sensitive,
expects single parameter on position 1), for example:
select groupId from Groups where groupId = ?"
• db.user.roles.query: Query used to get groups for a given user
(case-sensitive, expects single parameter on position 1), for example:
select groupId from Groups where userId = ?
The LDAPUserGroupCallbackImpl class
This callback relies on several properties (parameter descriptions):
• ldap.bind.user (optional if the LDAP server accepts anonymous access)
• ldap.bind.pwd (optional if the LDAP server accepts anonymous access)
• ldap.user.ctx (mandatory), for example, ou\=Staff,dc\=packt,dc\=com
• ldap.role.ctx (mandatory), for example, ou\=Roles,dc\=packt,dc\=com
• ldap.user.roles.ctx (optional; if not given, ldap.role.ctx will be used)
• ldap.user.filter (mandatory), for example, =(uid\={0})
• ldap.role.filter (mandatory), for example, (cn\={0})
• ldap.user.roles.filter (mandatory), for example, (member\={0})
• ldap.user.attr.id (optional; if not given, uid will be used)
[ 224 ]
Chapter 7
• ldap.roles.attr.id (optional; if not given, cn will be used)
• ldap.user.id.dn (optional; is user id a DN?; instructs the callback to query
for a user DN before searching for roles; default false)
• ldap.search.scope (optional; if not given, OBJECT_SCOPE will be used);
the possible values are as follows: OBJECT_SCOPE, ONELEVEL_SCOPE, and
• java.naming.factory.initial
• java.naming.security.authentication
• java.naming.security.protocol
• java.naming.provider.url, for example, ldap://localhost:10389
jBPM serialization
We have seen that the engine features, with enabled persistence, state saving
of session, process, task, and variable data to the database, and contextually,
relevant object state data are marshalled and then, persisted on entity saving and
unmarshaled on entity loading so as to make possible the preservation of the engine
execution state in the long term, across system restarts. Here, the term marshalling
is used because the jBPM serialization layer utilizes the Google Protobuf framework,
a protocol, which, in the first instance, was used for RPC. Let us have a look at how
the default jBPM serialization works and, later on, how we can manage to hook our
serialization mechanism into jBPM.
CommandService (Chapter 6, Core Architecture) and the related interceptors are
invoked to persist entities in a transactional way; the internal object marshalling
phase takes place inside the transaction.
During the saving (or update) of the session, for example, its instance gets marshalled
into its RULEBYTESARRAY column (SessionInfo table) so that the Knowledge Session
instance can be loaded after a restart. The same happens for a process instance; its
instance (with variables, node definitions, swimlanes, and so on.) is marshalled into
PROCESSINSTANCEBYTEARRAY (the ProcessInstanceInfo table). The task data is
marshalled into the WORKITEMBYTEARRAY (WorkItemInfo table).
[ 225 ]
Customizing and Extending jBPM
The engine classes, which actually perform the marshalling job, are respectively
SessionMarshallingHelper and ProtobufProcessMarshaller; these classes are
internally baked by the ProtobufMarshaller class, which manages operations
through a write handler (ProtobufOutputMarshaller) and an input handler
(ProtobufInputMarshaller). The class diagram shown later demonstrates
these classes and also how KieMarshallers (we introduced this in Chapter 6,
Core Architecture) fits into the picture. It is simply a factory default for marshaller
and strategy instances. Strategies are classes that control the marshalling process
of variables.
Persisting variables
jBPM does not feature off-the-shelf processes and task variable persistence toward
an ER model, mainly because of performance reasons. The main drawback is
that you cannot search process instances by the value of a process variable. In
order to add this kind of feature, you have to provide an implementation for the
JPAPlaceholderResolverStrategy strategy (we are going to discuss it in a moment).
As we have just seen, the default jBPM marshalling process results into bytes written
in the database. This could be of limited interest to our application, but luckily,
jBPM gives us the tools to hook into this mechanism by controlling the way variable
(at least) marshaling works, by using or adding the so-called strategies.
During marshalling, in fact, jBPM delegates the serialization of process and task
variables to strategy classes; jBPM ships with some ready-to-use strategies:
• org.drools.core.marshalling.impl.
SerializablePlaceholderResolverStrategy: Features default Java
serialization on objects implementing the Serializable interface. jBPM
adds this strategy by default to the list of enabled strategies.
• org.drools.persistence.jpa.marshaller.
JPAPlaceholderResolverStrategy: A strategy that manages variables as
entities to and from a JPA-persistent store.
• org.jbpm.document.marshalling.DocumentMarshallingStrategy: This
strategy manages marshalling for parameters of the org.jbpm.document.
Document type. The document parameter type is used as the upload file
parameter in the KIE Form modeler. These features are available with
[ 226 ]
Chapter 7
jBPM supports multiple strategies at once; it invokes them sequentially (a chain
of responsibility patterns) following the order in which they are given when
configuring the session (more on this in the following section). Each strategy
(ObjectMarshallingStrategy) must specify the objects that it handles (the accept
method) and provide the marshal and unmarshal methods (see the class diagram
Let us now look at how strategies can be configured using a working example
which uses the jBPM JPAPlaceholderResolverStrategy in order to persist our
process and task variables to our domain database table. Please refer to the jbpmmarshalling example project for a working marshalling example.
Configuring a marshalling strategy
The jbpm-marshalling example features a process definition (rule_marshall.
bpmn), which uses an entity class as both the process variable and the task parameter.
We want the engine to transparently persist our domain variable (the OrderEntity
class) into a new domain database table (the ORDERENTITY table). The OrderEntity
entity class must be added to our persistence unit (check the persistence.xml
project), for example:
We set the marshalling strategies by passing an array of
ObjectMarshallingStrategy to the environment that is used to create
KieSession; in the following example (the MarshallTest example
class), we configure the JPAPlaceholderResolverStrategy and the
SerializablePlaceholderResolverStrategy strategies (please refer to the
RuntimeManager and the engine section in Chapter 6, Core Architecture, for details).
RuntimeEnvironmentBuilder builder = RuntimeEnvironmentBuilder.Factory.
new ObjectMarshallingStrategy[] {
new CustomJPAPlaceholderResolverStrategy (super.getEmf()),
new SerializablePlaceholderResolverStrategy(
[ 227 ]
Customizing and Extending jBPM
Note that we provided an extended CustomJPAPlaceholderResolverStrategy;
this class extends and delegates all functionalities to the default
JPAPlaceholderResolverStrategy and adds some logging features by sending
the relevant information to the console during the marshalling process. Its
constructor is given EntityManagerFactory, which has been created from the same
persistence unit that the engine is using. This means that our entity table will be in
the same engine database schema. The ClassObjectMarshallingStrategyAcceptor
instance (used for SerializablePlaceholderResolverStrategy) performs
the logic of accepting (filtering) object instances. Remember to always add the
SerializablePlaceholderResolverStrategy strategy as the last strategy,
since it's the one used by the engine.
[ 228 ]
Chapter 7
Persisting variables
The MarshallTest class is derived from RuleTaskTest (see the Rule start event
section in Chapter 5, BPMN Constructs); it sets a global session variable and then,
creates the process for passing two parameters, namely a plain Order instance
and an OrderEntity instance, which are then passed to the user task. Upon the
completion of the user task, the business rule is triggered and the global session
variable is evaluated.
If we run the example jUnit test, we can see how the marshall method for our
strategy class gets called several times before the human task is triggered:
18:19:42.757 [main] accepted
[OrderEntity Id: null desc= First order amount=20.0]
18:19:42.757 [main] marshal
[OrderEntity Id: null desc= First order amount=20.0]
18:19:42.788 [main] accepted
[OrderEntity Id: 1 desc= First order amount=20.0]
18:19:42.788 [main] marshal
[OrderEntity Id: 1 desc= First order amount=20.0]
18:19:44.318 [main] accepted
[OrderEntity Id: 1 desc= First order amount=20.0]
18:19:44.318 [main] marshal
[OrderEntity Id: 1 desc= First order amount=20.0]
18:19:44.350 [main] accepted
[OrderEntity Id: 1 desc= First order amount=20.0]
18:19:44.350 [main] marshal
[OrderEntity Id: 1 desc= First order amount=20.0]
The order entity is first inserted and then, updated several times; in the database
table, we can see our record.
[ 229 ]
Customizing and Extending jBPM
It is the strategy's responsibility to maintain the entity state consistent between these
calls. After the task completion, the unmarshall method gets called twice: first when
the workitem is loaded from the database before its completion, and second when
the process instance is loaded from the session:
luigi is executing task User Task 1
18:27:00.220 [main]
object: [OrderEntity Id: 1 desc= First order amount=20.0]
18:27:00.251 [main]
object: [OrderEntity Id: 1 desc= First order amount=20.0]
jBPM is open and configurable software. In this chapter, we reviewed three core
features of the platform, which are commonly extended when tailoring jBPM
systems to meet specific application requirements: domain processes and custom
BPMN nodes, custom persistence for process and task variables, and human
authorization based on custom implementation or legacy systems. The next
chapter will provide the user with real-world jBPM solutions.
[ 230 ]
Integrating jBPM with
Enterprise Architecture
We have an enterprise infrastructure in place, now we want to separate and
centralize the process management to a single component, and of course, our choice
is jBPM. So, the million dollar question would be "How do we integrate jBPM to the
enterprise application in place?"
The answer to this question varies according to requirements and how the enterprise
application is built. The architecture describes how the application is built, and
from a broader perspective, a set of architecture patterns are used (either alone or
in combination) as guidelines to model the architecture. This chapter focuses on
provisions available in jBPM for integrating it with applications that follow these
architecture patterns.
The chapter starts by discussing the context of enterprise application integration and
continues to discuss the following in detail:
• Integrating jBPM into a JEE-based application
• Integrating jBPM into a service-oriented architecture
• Integrating jBPM into an event-driven architecture
[ 231 ]
Integrating jBPM with Enterprise Architecture
Setting the context
System integration of a software component to an existing software architecture
indicates that we should provide two windows (interfaces), listed as follows:
• To access services provided by the new component. In case of jBPM, it is
represented by various services provided by jBPM, for example, the process
runtime provision for managing the life cycle of a business process. JBPM
exposes these services as APIs of its core engine.
• To enable jBPM to access the services provided by other components in
the application architecture. The extension points that JBPM provides for
integration with external components are the workitem handlers. We can
create handlers and write the logic for accessing the external components.
The following figure depicts this context:
Services provided by jBPM
As we discussed in the previous section, one of the critical part of system integration
with jBPM is the ability to access the features of jBPM. JBPM provides an application
programming interface to access these features. This API can be directly invoked
within the same JVM, and if needed to be accessed from outside the system
boundary, it has to be wrapped and provided as a remotely accessible service.
For this, we have an array of options, right from an Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB)
remote interface to REST-based web services. Each of these will be detailed in the
subsequent sections of this chapter.
[ 232 ]
Chapter 8
The following are the services provided by jBPM:
• Definition service: This helps to define a process and analyze its content
• Deployment service: This helps to deploy a business process and the
associated artifacts
• Process service: This helps to start a process instance from the process
definitions, manage the life cycle of the instance, and interact with them
using signals
• User task service: This helps to manage the human task life cycle
• Runtime data service: This helps to get the details of the data during jBPM
runtime regarding process, process instance, tasks, and audit trails
Each service is detailed in the following section with (important) operations:
• org.jbpm.services.api.DefinitionService: This service helps to define
a process from the BPMN text and provides operations to analyze a business
process definition:
Operation signature
deploymentId, String
bpmn2Content, ClassLoader
classLoader, boolean cache)
throws IllegalArgumentException;
Builds the process
definition from
the given process
definition content
deploymentId, String processId);
Gets the process
identifiers of
the reusable
subprocesses inside
a process definition
Map<String, String>
deploymentId, String processId);
Retrieves the name
and type of all
process variables in
a business process
Map<String, String>
deploymentId, String processId);
Gets the identifiers
of all service tasks
associated in a
business process
deploymentId, String processId);
Retrieves all the
tasks defined in the
business process
[ 233 ]
Integrating jBPM with Enterprise Architecture
• org.jbpm.services.api.DeploymentService: This service helps to deploy
and manage an application deployment unit:
Operation signature
void deploy(DeploymentUnit unit);
void undeploy(DeploymentUnit unit);
void activate(String deploymentId)
void deactivate(String deploymentId);
boolean isDeployed(String deploymentUnitId)
• org.jbpm.services.api.ProcessService: This process service is used to
manage the life cycle and to interact with a started process instance:
Operation signature
Long startProcess(String deploymentId,
String processId);
Long startProcess(String deploymentId,
String processId, Map<String, Object>
void abortProcessInstance(Long
void abortProcessInstances(List<Long>
void signalProcessInstance(Long
processInstanceId, String signalName,
Object event);
void signalProcessInstances(List<Long>
processInstanceIds, String signalName,
Object event);
void completeWorkItem(Long id,
Map<String, Object> results);
abortWorkItem(Long id);
• org.jbpm.services.api.UserTaskService: This service helps to perform
life cycle management operations of a user task:
Operation signature
void activate(Long taskId, String userId)
[ 234 ]
Chapter 8
Operation signature
void claim(Long taskId, String userId)
void complete(Long taskId, String userId,
Map<String, Object> params)
void delegate(Long taskId, String userId,
String targetUserId)
void exit(Long taskId, String userId)
void fail(Long taskId, String userId,
Map<String, Object> faultData)
void forward(Long taskId, String userId,
String targetEntityId)
void release(Long taskId, String userId);
void resume(Long taskId, String userId);
void skip(Long taskId, String userId);
void start(Long taskId, String userId);
void stop(Long taskId, String userId);
• org.jbpm.services.api.RuntimeDataService: This API is used to retrieve
information about the jBPM runtime including the data of process instances,
tasks, and audit logs:
Operation signature
getProcesses(QueryContext queryContext);
Collection<ProcessInstanceDesc> getProcessInst
ances(QueryContext queryContext);
Collection<NodeInstanceDesc> getProcessIn
stanceFullHistory(long processInstanceId,
QueryContext queryContext);
getVariableHistory(long processInstanceId,
String variableId, QueryContext queryContext);
List<TaskEvent> getTaskEvents(long taskId,
QueryFilter filter);
List<TaskSummary> getTasksOwned(String userId,
QueryFilter filter);
[ 235 ]
Integrating jBPM with Enterprise Architecture
Creating custom workitem handlers
In order for jBPM to access services of other components in the application, we can
use the workitem handler extension point provided by jBPM. Workitem handlers are
used to specify domain-specific services to a BPMN activity. There are several inbuilt
generic workitem handlers prebuilt in jBPM.
For creating a workitem handler, we have to implement the org.kie.runtime.
instance.WorkItemHandler interface. This interface holds two methods to be
• WorkItemManager.completeWorkItem(long workItemId, Map<String,
Object> results)
• WorkItemManager.abortWorkItem(long workItemId)
A custom workitem has to be registered to the engine by using the workitem
manager. For example, for registering a customer task, we can use the following:
new NotificationWorkItemHandler());
In conclusion, we have discussed the provisions available in jBPM for integrating it
with generic software architecture. In the following sections, we will discuss how to
integrate jBPM into widely used enterprise architectures.
Integrating with JEE
The Java Enterprise Edition provides an API and a runtime environment for
developing and deploying enterprise applications. Further, EJB defines a set of
lightweight APIs that can be used to build applications and leverage capabilities
such as transactions, remote procedure calls, concurrency control, and access control.
EJB can be accessed in two modes:
• Remote interface: This is where the component that wants to access the EJB
is not packed together with jBPM
• Local interface: This is where the component that wants to access the EJB is
packed together with a jBPM service
JBPM provides out-of-the-box support for JEE integrations. It provides EJB remote
and local interfaces for accessing the above-listed services.
[ 236 ]
Chapter 8
EJB remote interfaces
The EJB remote interfaces are as follows:
Service name
Definition service
Deployment service
Process service
Runtime data service
User task service
EJB remote service class
These remote services can be accessed from other Java applications. First, we need to
access the ejb remote interface.
For example (specific to the jboss application server), the following code shows the
lookup of the ProcessService:
final Hashtable<String, String> jndiProperties = new Hashtable<String,
//Set the JNDI properties
final Context context = new InitialContext(jndiProperties);
//Set the bean name
String beanName =
String jndi = "ejb:/" + application + "/" + mappedName;
ProcessService bean = (ProcessService) context.lookup(jndi);
After looking up the service, the service can be accessed seamlessly.
The EJB local interface
The EJB local interface can be accessed in two ways. One is by using the javax.ejb.
EJB annotation and specifying the enterprise bean's local business interface name:
[ 237 ]
Integrating jBPM with Enterprise Architecture
For example:
ProcessService processservice;
The container will inject the EJB access for the API.
The other syntactical way to access a local EJB service is by using the JNDI lookup
and the javax.naming.InitialContext interface's lookup method:
ProcessService processservice = (Processservice)
Integrating in SOA and EDA
The first part of this section covers how to integrate jBPM acting as a client into
external services; Chapter 5, BPMN Constructs, and Chapter 6, Core Architecture,
introduced jBPM elements specifically designed to call external web services from a
process definition: the service task and the WS or the REST workitem handlers. The
latter are jBPM ready-to-use, configurable components, but keep in mind that jBPM
gives the user all the tools to develop custom handlers so as to perform interactions
with generic external services (see Chapter 7, Customizing and Extending jBPM). The
second part of the section will examine how to integrate the jBPM API as a server
using REST, SOAP, and JMS. We will provide you with two example projects
(jbpm-remote-client and jbpm-remote-server) in order to put into action these
jBPM features.
We are going to see how to connect to both REST and SOAP services.
Integrating with REST services
Before starting a commented step-by-step tour of a jBPM application integrated with
a REST service, let us review the basics of the support jBPM offers when coming to
REST integration. The jBPM REST workitem handler (class org.jbpm.process.
workitem.rest.RESTWorkItemHandler) is designed to interact with REST services
(both secured and not secured); it supports the following parameters:
• Url: Target resource endpoint
• Method: HTTP method (defaults to GET)
• ContentType: Datatype when sending data (required with POST and PUT)
• Content: Data to send (required with POST and PUT)
[ 238 ]
Chapter 8
• ConnectTimeout: Connection timeout (defaults to 60 seconds)
• ReadTimeout: Read timeout (defaults to 60 seconds)
• Username: Authentication username
• Password: Authentication password
The handler returns an output result that defines the following attributes:
• Result: The REST service text body response
• Status: The integer HTTP response code
• StatusMsg: A string description for the operation outcome
Our example application sets up a REST server and starts a process that has a REST
service task node: the REST node performs an HTTP POST operation passing an
Order instance (as a XML string) to the REST server; the server modifies the order's
note and returns the order.
The REST service
Our REST server is started inside the test class (the RestTest.
initializeRestServer method) by using the JAX-RS Apache CXF implementation
(the CXF version is 2.7.14, check the project pom.xml file for dependencies); the
initialization code sets a JAXB provider in order to support data binding for beans.
Please check the Apache CXF documentation for JAX-RS at
The server is set up around a REST resource (the RestResource class), which defines
the available operations through the JAX-RS jax.ws.rs package annotations.
The client – REST handler configuration
• The example test class method RestTest.testRestProcess starts a process
instance (see the rest.bpmn2 process definition); the process has a REST task
node configured with the following mandatory parameters:
Url: http://localhost:9998/pizzarestservice/order
ContentType: application/xml
Content: <order><note>my note</note></order>
Method: POST
[ 239 ]
Integrating jBPM with Enterprise Architecture
The node handler performs the REST call to the postOrder(Order order) method
of the RestResource class; the method is annotated with @Path("/order"), and the
XML bean serialization is taken care of, as we said, by JAXB. The REST task output
variable is mapped back to the process instance and printed by the script task.
With the jUnit test class (TestRest), you can exercise the REST handler and the REST
service outside the process definition (the testPOSTOperation method).
In case the default jBPM REST handler cannot meet your requirements (because of
serialization constraints, frameworks lock-ins, and so on), it's important to point
out that the developer can provide a brand new handler implementation: follow
the Chapter 7, Customizing and Extending jBPM, guidelines describing the workitem
handler development process. Let us now see how to set up and call a SOAP web
service from a process definition.
The SOAP WebService
jBPM ships with a specialized ServiceTaskHandler (see Chapter 5, BPMN
Constructs), which features web service interactions based on WSDL. The service
task is marked as having an implementation of the WebService type (the task also
supports plain Java implementation execution through the Reflection class). Please
check the Service task section of Chapter 5, BPMN Constructs, for additional details
and a working example description. Our jUnit class (WsTest) sets up a web service
(the startWebService method) and then, starts a process that has two service task
nodes, one calling the web service addSmallOrder operation, and the other calling
the addLargeOrder operation: both the operations take an Order instance as the
input and return a Boolean result, which is printed by the script task. The service
tasks are on different process branches, which are taken by the exclusive gateway by
evaluating the submitted order's total amount.
The JAX-WS service
The TestWebService service is an annotated JAX-WS service; it is started
from the WsTest.startWebService method class, and its endpoint is set to (you can easily configure this
in the unit test class). The
link returns the service WSDL interface. The service exposes the two aforementioned
methods: addSmallOrder and addLargeOrder. Let us see how to call our web
service operation from our process definition.
The client – process and service task handler configuration
In order to call the web service operation, we must perform the following steps, by
editing the process definition and its service task node element:
[ 240 ]
Chapter 8
Process definition
Things to be aware of are that we need to import the service WSDL definition. In the
process definition import section, add the service WSDL location and namespace.
The WSDL is passed to Apache CXF JaxWsDynamicClientFactory, which parses it
when creating a dynamic web service client.
Service task handler
The service task handler invokes the web service automatically by setting its
parameters appropriately; this speeds up the integration process but may fall short
when developing against service interfaces with complex types since, as we have
already pointed out, the handler leverages the Apache CXF Dynamic Clients pattern.
In this case, you are strongly suggested to develop a custom handler integrating your
web service framework of choice. We set the handler parameters as follows:
• Implementation: WSDL
• serviceInterface: TestWebService
• serviceOperation: addSmallOrder (addLargeOrder)
The mode parameter value is left to SYNC (default), which translates in a blocking
operation; when the ASYNC mode is set, the handler is forced to perform the
web service call on a thread, returning the control to the process engine, and the
workitem is completed as soon as the remote call returns.
The WebServiceWorkItemHandler class
jBPM offers a web service-oriented alternative to the service task handler with the
WebServiceWorkItemHandler class. This handler improves over the service task
handler in terms of parameter array handling, web service endpoint setting (it
accepts the Endpoint parameter), and shortcut WSDL location loading (the Url and
Namespace parameters instead of having to define the WSDL URL at the process
definition level). The serviceInterface and serviceOperation parameters are
renamed Interface and Operation, respectively.
[ 241 ]
Integrating jBPM with Enterprise Architecture
jBPM as a remote service
The jBPM platform is offering a number of ready-to-use remote APIs in an effort
to provide developers with an improved level of flexibility when designing
solutions that require out-of-the-box jBPM integration. This remote service layer
opens up a number of possibilities for providing the stakeholders with a flexible,
open architecture, in order to satisfy and to quickly react to changing application
requirements, for instance:
• A number of external application systems may require to occasionally
connect to the jBPM runtime in order to check some task or retrieve some
process information
• The jBPM operations manager may be constrained to perform administration
tasks by submitting a batch of commands via HTTP only
jBPM ships with the following remote service interfaces:
• Java Remote API: This API provides the developer with local stubs of the
KieSession, TaskService, and AuditService core engine services. These
service stubs of the API methods are wrappers for lower-level REST or JMS
API calls.
All of these services are exposed by the jBPM KIE workbench, and as such, they are
available only when the jbpm-console web application is deployed in a container.
The source code for the remote services project is hosted
at https://github.com/droolsjbpm/droolsjbpmintegration/tree/master/kie-remote.
The required Maven dependency for the remote service client is as follows:
Let us now review the main remote service functionalities and how you can access
[ 242 ]
Chapter 8
This API provides functionalities in the following areas:
• Runtime: (/runtime/ path) provides the user with process instance creation,
process instance querying, and workitem operations
• History: (/history/ path) provides with auditing data
• Task: (/task/ path) provides task operation and task query methods
• Deployments: (/deployments/ and /deployment/ path) provides
deployments management operations
For additional details, please check the jBPM user manual reference (Chapter 17,
jBPM Process Definition Language (JPDL)).
Upon invocation, the REST service operations check for the basic authentication
user ID of your current HTTP session. For example, assume that you are performing
REST operations in an unauthorized session by executing the following code from
your command line:
curl -v http://localhost:8080/jbpm-console/rest/deployment/com.packt.
You will get an HTTP 401 Unauthorized error (output edited for clarity; it may vary):
< HTTP/1.1 401 Unauthorized
< WWW-Authenticate: Basic realm="KIE Workbench Realm"
The Kie workbench default security mechanism leverages JAAS;
the default configuration, for both jBoss WildFly and EAP, is stored
in the application server XML configuration file (standalone and
the like). See Chapter 4, Operation Management, for user and role
Otherwise, set the user ID and password (Workbench Realm) as follows:
[ 243 ]
Integrating jBPM with Enterprise Architecture
This will return the following response:
For a complete jBPM REST reference, please see the jBPM official
documentation (Chapter 17, Remote API).
The remote Java API
The remote Java API is a high-level API that uses REST or JMS to interact with the
remote engine services in order to provide the user with familiar service API classes
(TaskService, KieSession, and so on).
The API depends on the jBoss RESTEasy REST implementation and the HornetQ JMS
client library. The Maven dependency required to interact with the Remote API is,
as we have pointed out earlier, the kie-remote-client module and the additional
kie-remote-common artifact. Be sure not to have dependencies to the Apache CXF
framework, which may cause issues with the jBoss RESTEasy framework.
The REST client
The initialization is done with a builder fluent API obtained from
// the deploymentId identifies the KIE module
public static String deploymentId =
RemoteRestRuntimeEngineBuilder restEngineBuilder =
RemoteRestRuntimeEngineFactory engineFactory = restEngineBuilder
[ 244 ]
Chapter 8
// get the engine
RemoteRuntimeEngine engine = engineFactory.newRuntimeEngine();
// and the services
TaskService taskService = engine.getTaskService();
KieSession ksession = engine.getKieSession();
ProcessInstance processInstance = ksession.startProcess(processID);
Please see the jbpm-remote-server Maven project and its
RestTest jUnit class for a full working example.
Client for jBPM JMS service
When using the JMS Remote API client, we need to add a number of library
dependencies, notably HornetQ and the jBoss remote client. We are going to
see how to configure and run a remote client application, which creates a jBPM
process instance.
Please see the jbpm-remote-server Maven project and its
JmsTest jUnit class for a full working example (WildFly 8.1 is
required to be up-and-running).
Server JMS configuration
WildFly comes with HornetQ as JMS MQ middleware; in order to have JMS to
properly work, we need to check the jBPM JMS queues are registered with the JNDI
service and that the user security settings are set. By default, HornetQ will use the
"other" JAAS security domain, which is the one used by KIE Workbench Realm
for authentication (recall the user.properties and roles.properties files). In
addition, HornetQ defines authorization settings in the following element of the
WildFly standalone-full.xml configuration file (under the messaging subsystem):
<security-setting match="#">
<permission type="send" roles="admin guest"/>
<permission type="consume" roles="admin guest"/>
<permission type="createNonDurableQueue" roles="admin
<permission type="deleteNonDurableQueue" roles="admin
[ 245 ]
Integrating jBPM with Enterprise Architecture
Here, we just add the KIE console admin role (along the default guest role); the
admin role is already configured for JAAS.
Now, to check whether our JMS user is properly configured, open the jBoss
management console (http://localhost:9990/console) and select Configuration/
Subsystems/Messaging/Destinations and select Default Provider and Security
Settings on the top navigation bar; you shall view the defined users.
The WildFly jBPM JMS queue configuration is defined in the jbpm-console.war\
WEB-INF\bpms-jms.xml file; the remotely accessible queues are registered in the
java:jboss/exported JNDI namespace.
To check whether the jBPM JMS queues are correctly bound to JNDI, open the jBoss
management console (http://localhost:9990/console) and select Runtime/
Status/Subsystems/JNDI View; here, you shall view the KIE.AUDIT, KIE.
SESSION, KIE.RESPONSE, and KIE.TASK queues. Here, you should also have
RemoteConnectionFactory listed; this factory allows for remote connection to the
jBoss JNDI namespaces (we are going to see this in a moment).
[ 246 ]
Chapter 8
For the WildFly messaging security configuration, please refer
to https://docs.jboss.org/author/display/WFLY8/
Messaging+configuration. For the official HornetQ reference,
please see the latest documentation at http://docs.jboss.
JMS client implementation
To set up a remote JMS client connection, we use the same approach that we used
for the REST client; we configure a specialized builder, provided by the good old
Please see the jbpm-remote-server Maven project and its
JmsTest jUnit class for the full working example.
// the deploymentId identifies the KIE module
public static String deploymentId = "com.packt.
/* the remoteInitialContext is an instance of the jBoss Naming
service (InitialContext) and gives you access to the container
remoting services for JMS */
/* the connectionfactory represents the JMS connection configuration
settings */
RemoteJmsRuntimeEngineBuilder jmsEngineBuilder =
[ 247 ]
Integrating jBPM with Enterprise Architecture
We get the factory from the builder and the engine from the factory:
RemoteJmsRuntimeEngineFactory engineFactory = jmsEngineBuilder
RuntimeEngine engine = remoteJmsFactory.newRuntimeEngine();
Then, we get the service classes from the engine:
TaskService taskService = engine.getTaskService();
In order to make the jBPM remote client resolve the remote jBPM queues, we need to
configure the jBoss JNDI provider URL as follows:
"http-remoting://" + jbossServerHostName + ":8080");
WildFly utilizes an HTTP upgrade and features port multiplexing for nearly all of
its protocols. The jBoss remote JNDI historically listened on port 4447, but is now,
on port 8080.
For a complete WildFly reference, please see https://docs.jboss.
The jBPM workbench features additional interoperability by exposing a SOAP
service as described by the /jbpm-console/CommandService?WSDL endpoint; the
service implements a single execute operation. At the time of writing this book, the
WSDL available for the jBPM 6.2.0 release could not be used to generate the client
classes because of some typos in WSDL.
The client Maven dependency is as follows:
For the sake of completeness, we will now describe how to call into jBPM by using
its SOAP API. Our jbpm-remote-server test project, the SOAPTest jUnit test class,
creates a web service client and then, starts a new process instance.
[ 248 ]
Chapter 8
First, we get the WSDL resource from the endpoint URL as follows:
URL commandWsdlUrl = new URL(
The execute command operation accepts the JaxbCommandsRequest command,
which is a DTO (serializable) wrapper for plain jBPM command classes (see Chapter
6, Core Architecture). All jBPM command classes are also JAXB-annotated classes.
StartProcessCommand startProcessCommand = new
JaxbCommandsRequest request = new
JaxbCommandsRequest(deploymentId, startProcessCommand);
JaxbCommandsRequest can also accept a batch of commands unlike REST or the JMS
remote API.
When calling into jBPM by using REST, SOAP, or the remote Java API, you are in
control of your transaction management. If the jBPM call is supposed to be part of a
transaction and this call fails or throws an exception, you must handle it and perform
rollback operations or compensate the business logic on your side.
All the remote API methods throw a RemoteApiException exception to indicate that
the remote call (either REST or JMS) has failed.
The SOAP API execute operations throws CommandWebServiceException. If
you need a tight integration and transaction propagation mechanism, you should
consider moving to an EJB layer wrapping the full-fledged jBPM services (see the
Integrating with JEE section at the start of this chapter).
In this chapter, we expanded on the jBPM features targeted at enterprise architecture
integration. We discussed the core services exposed by jBPM and how they can be
accessed by using different technologies such as JEE, SOAP, REST, and JMS.
In the next chapter, we will focus on details that have to be taken care of while
deploying jBPM to production.
[ 249 ]
jBPM in Production
In the previous chapters, we sailed through the various functional aspects of jBPM
and also saw how we can extend and customize jBPM for adding more features.
Now, it is production time, and there is a change in the perspective of how the
application is viewed by its stakeholders.
The important question now is not the functional characteristics, but the
nonfunctional ones. People think about the stability and resilience of the application
and not the flexibility that it gives. People think of how fast and cost-efficiently the
application can be scaled so as to provision for more users and how less critical
is the latency of a service.
The mettle of the application is put under fire. jBPM is ready-to-use production
software, and in this chapter, we will discuss various facilities available in jBPM to
make it fit into the requirements of production software. The chapter is structured on
the basis of the major qualities of a system that has to be taken care of in production.
We will discuss the following topics:
• How to scale
• How to make applications secure
• How to meet availability requirements
• How to incorporate new changes to the system
• How the system handles errors in runtime
[ 251 ]
jBPM in Production
Scalability can be described as the capacity of a system to handle growing volumes
of service provisioning in a controlled and cost-efficient manner. In case of a BPM
system, there are two major use cases where the requirement of scaling can arise.
• Scaling the modeling facility, that is, the workbench
• Scaling the process runtime, with which the end customers of the
application interact
Scaling an application typically involves two methods:
• Vertical scaling: This is achieved by adding resources to the server that is
providing the service
• Horizontal scaling: This is achieved by adding multiple servers to provision
the same service
Vertical scaling involves less complexity of implementation as it asks for improving
the hardware (usually) and configuring the application to use these resources.
However, vertical scaling is often limited by the constraints put by cost and
technology in building the resources. In the context of jBPM, the resources that can
be added are the memory, processor cores, and secondary storage mechanisms. jBPM
doesn't provide out-of-the-box functionality to explicitly cater for these resource
improvements, but there would be improvements in throughput and performance
by taking advantage of the underlying platforms used by the jBPM, such as the
application server on which jBPM is deployed and JVM on which the application
server resides.
Within the scope of this book, it is obvious that horizontal scaling would need a
better method, and the following sections purely concentrate on horizontally scaling
of the jBPM functionality.
Scaling the business process modeling
Scaling the modeling tool points to increasing the number of users that can perform
modeling simultaneously. Users can choose either web tooling or Eclipse tooling for
modeling purposes, and there can be scenarios where the modeling users create a
single application or multiple applications.
[ 252 ]
Chapter 9
Given the previous factors and constraints, the most obvious way to increase the
throughput of the modeling workbench service is to increase the number of units
that provision the service. So, we add servers and jump to face the quintessential
problems of clustering. Each server has a separate asset repository, and if the
users collaborate to create the same application, we need to keep the assets in the
repository sync always.
The out-of-the-box facility that jBPM provides as the asset repository is the Gitbacked Virtual File System (VFS), and in order to keep the file system in sync, jBPM
suggests the use of Apache Helix, a cluster management framework.
The following diagram visualizes the deployment architecture in this scenario:
Apache Helix acts as a cluster management solution, which registers all servers to
the cluster and enables the synchronization of the repositories.
Helix internally uses Apache ZooKeeper to manage the state of the system and
manage the notifications between the nodes.
[ 253 ]
jBPM in Production
The details of configuring VFS clustering are explicitly provided in the jBPM user
guide; please refer to it for configuration details.
Apache Helix provides a set of functionalities that enable us to develop a faulttolerant, scalable distributed system. For more details, see http://helix.apache.
Scaling the process runtime
When we talk about scaling any software application, it involves increasing
the capacity of the system to serve an increasing number of user interactions. In
BPM-based applications, along with the increase in user interactions, the complexity
and content of the business processes factor in for an increase in the capacity of
the system.
Factors and considerations
The following section highlights the factors involved in finalizing the deployment
architecture of the system and discusses the consideration made in the jBPM
architecture to meet these increasing requirements.
Number of processes/process instances
Yes, this is an obvious factor: the number of process definitions that are part of
the application and the number of process instances created from these process
definitions use the system capacity. The process definitions are stored in the asset
repository, and we have already discussed this in the Scaling the business process
modeling facility section, but the increase in process definitions directs to an increase
in the number of process instances that have to be managed by the system. The
reverse is also possible, that is, a relatively small number of process definitions
but a large number of process instances.
Process instances carry the runtime state of the process execution and by default
in memory. However, this is not an option in a real-world scenario where the
availability of the runtime state is critical, and so, jBPM provides mechanisms to
persist the process instances into a database. In the context of our discussion, we
have to note that with an increase in the number of process instances, we have
to do the following:
• Increase the capacity of the database
• Increase the capacity of the memory
[ 254 ]
Chapter 9
The following diagram shows the schematic deployment architecture where there
are multiple jBPM runtime instances having replicated VFS repositories for asset
storage and a centralized database storing the runtime information:
The number of user interactions
User interactions with the process runtime are for the following:
• Interactions with the process engine for starting a process (creation of a
process instance) or signaling an event to an already started process instance
• Interaction with the task service for handling the life cycle methods for
human tasks
One other possibility is the interactions to domain-specific asynchronous
workitems, which needs its own capacity planning.
[ 255 ]
jBPM in Production
Interactions with the process engine are performed through a dedicated KieSession
API and come with a specific constraint; that is, interactions with a process instance
can only be performed through the Kie session in which the process instance was
created. Each interaction needs the instance of the Kie session where it was created,
and jBPM provides multiple strategies for handling the scaling up of process
interactions. jBPM allows you to choose the strategy while creating the runtime
manager, which is in turn used to access the runtime engine and create sessions
for interaction.
Flavors of runtime manager
• Singleton strategy:
By choosing this strategy, we choose to maintain a single instance of the
runtime instance and a single instance of Kie Session for all interactions.
This is the easiest strategy and is most favorable for low and medium loads.
The singleton strategy can be programmatically chosen as follows:
Further, if you are using jBPM console (KIE Workbench), you can configure
the <runtime-strategy> deployment descriptor tag as SINGLETON. A
sample deployment descriptor is shown as follows:
<deployment-descriptor xsi:schemaLocation="http://www.jboss.org/
jbpm deployment-descriptor.xsd" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/
SINGLETON is the default strategy in the jBPM console.
[ 256 ]
Chapter 9
We can override the default deployment descriptor by using a Java option
during the start of the server as follows: Dorg.kie.deployment.desc.
• Per request strategy:
A new instance of runtime manager is provided, and the session is created
and maintained for the request scope.
This strategy is stateless and ideal for horizontally scaling the jBPM process
runtime instances, but the functionality in the process is limited to stateless
facts, with no user interactions allowed other than the start process.
We can choose the per request strategy programmatically during the creation
of runtime by the following code:
Further, for jBPM console, the deployment descriptor can be customized
as follows:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?>
<deployment-descriptor xsi:schemaLocation="http://www.jboss.org/
jbpm deployment-descriptor.xsd" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/
• Per process instance strategy:
It is the most advanced strategy taking into consideration the tradeoff
between the scalability of the system and the overhead it put. As the name
indicates, ksession sticks to the process instance and lives as long as the
process instance is alive. It does not have the scalability constraints in the
singleton strategy, and although it has a high overhead, it doesn't have the
overhead limitations and is not scalable as the per request strategy. Thus, the
per process instance strategy is placed in the middle of the above two and is
used in most of the cases where jBPM is used.
We can choose the per process instance strategy programmatically during the
creation of runtime by the following line of code:
[ 257 ]
jBPM in Production
Further, for the jBPM console, the deployment descriptor is customized
as follows:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?>
<deployment-descriptor xsi:schemaLocation="http://www.jboss.org/
jbpm deployment-descriptor.xsd" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/
Task service
Task service is the dedicated component for managing human task services. The
interactions with an application can be performed through the human tasks. jBPM
provides a default implementation for the human task service, which is based on the
WS-Human Task specification. The task service clients are light and go hand-in-hand
with strategies that we have chosen for the runtime manager, and all the clients
share the same database; therefore, scaling up of human tasks is in sync with the
strategy chosen for the runtime manager and with the increase in the capacity of
the database storage.
Number of timer events
The functionality of timer events is achieved using the scheduler service. Multiple
implementations of the scheduler service are provided by jBPM. The Quartz
scheduler-based implementation is a fit in for a production environment. The Quartz
scheduler supports the clustering mode, which provides both high availability and
scalability, which works by maintaining the data or state of the schedules (or jobs)
that it handles in a shared database between nodes.
Quartz is an open source job scheduling library that can be integrated
within a Java application. Quartz can be used to create scheduled tasks
and provide support for JTA transactions and clustering. For more details,
see http://quartz-scheduler.org/.
The Quartz scheduler can be enabled by providing the absolute path of the quartz
definition file against the org.quartz.properties system property.
A sample quartz definition file is given as follows that is configured for use along
with a PostgreSQL database.
# Configure Main Scheduler Properties
[ 258 ]
Chapter 9
org.quartz.scheduler.instanceName = jBPMClusteredScheduler
org.quartz.scheduler.instanceId = AUTO
# Configure ThreadPool
org.quartz.threadPool.class = org.quartz.simpl.SimpleThreadPool
org.quartz.threadPool.threadCount = 5
org.quartz.threadPool.threadPriority = 5
# Configure JobStore
org.quartz.jobStore.misfireThreshold = 60000
org.quartz.jobStore.clusterCheckinInterval = 20000
# Configure Datasources
[ 259 ]
jBPM in Production
When using the Quartz scheduler, as a prerequisite, we would have
to create the database schemas that are used by Quartz to persist its
job data. The database scripts provided with the Quartz distribution
(jBPM uses Quartz 1.8.5. DB scripts) are usually located under
The scheduler service can be configured programmatically by configuring
GlobalSchedulerService in the runtime environment:
Here, the globalSchedulerService object is an implementation of org.jbpm.
process.core.timer.GlobalSchedulerService and the Quartz implementation
is org.jbpm.process.core.timer.impl.QuartzSchedulerService.
The availability of an application or system can be viewed as the total amount of
time that it provides its services against the total time it is expected to do so. System
availability is affected by multiple factors ranging from failure of the system due to
hardware/software failures and the known downtime for maintenance and upgrades.
High availability is achieved in applications by having failover mechanisms using
which the system can get back to its service provisioning state after a failure. A more
optimized system would consider backup mechanisms, which it can immediately
switch on to in a failure scenario, thus improving the availability. Scheduled
maintenance can be done using a rolling upgrade to ensure high availability. The
solutions are usually depicted in the form of deployment architecture, vary according
to the software solution, and consider the trade-offs in non-functional requirements.
The following figure depicts the sample deployment architecture that can be applied
to the jBPM workbench and runtime, which can cater to high-availability and
high-throughput scenarios. The architecture considers a failover mechanism by
having a persistent, distributed storage for all data and a load balancer with a
passive backup to ensure the switching of nodes upon a partial failure (node failure).
jBPM doesn't provide all the components needed in this deployment architecture but
has to get third-party software and integrated. We discuss the applicability of these
components in the subsequent sections.
[ 260 ]
Chapter 9
Applicability to workbench
Thinking about the availability of the workspace, we need to consider the following
two things:
• Availability of the web-based user interface for modeling
• Availability of the stores where the assets are created during the modeling
The service providing the web-based user interface is hosted on an application
server, and the availability means availability provisions provided by the application
server. Usually, the provisions are in the form of load balancer-based failover
mechanisms, where the load balancer switches the traffic to another node when the
node providing the service fails, and the failover mechanism ensures that the node
will be back live within a certain timespan to provide the full potential throughput.
Assets are stored in a virtual file system, and by default, it is a Git-based repository.
As we have discussed in the Scaling the business process modeling facility section, the
Git-based repository can be clustered and the assets synchronized. So, even if one
node fails, the latest assets will be restored from the other nodes.
[ 261 ]
jBPM in Production
Applicability to continuous improvements in
From the perspective of the applications developed using the modeling facility, there
can be continuous improvements in the application processes. The new version of a
process can be deployed to the jBPM runtime in two ways.
• The new version of the process can be deployed as a new process definition,
and the old one can be retired by removing it from the knowledge repository
so that no new instance of this process version is deployed. However, this
approach absolutely doesn't handle the existing process instances. Either they
should be allowed to continue with the earlier versions or they should be
aborted and reprocessed. The decisions on choosing the approach should be
handled case-by-case on the basis of the business scenario that these process
definitions are handling.
• Using the process migration facility provided by jBPM. However, the facility
is limited to process changes that are non-conflicting.
Thus, process upgrades are not a very smooth process and require careful handling.
Further, to achieve availability, either the upgrades have to be done during
low-traffic periods or we have to do a rolling upgrade.
Applicability to the process runtime
Availability of the process runtime involves the availability of services to interact
with process instances such as process instance life cycles and user interactions.
Similar to what we discussed about the workbench facility, there are two things
we need to consider:
• Availability of the process instance interactions
• Availability of the process instance data
For the availability of the process instance interactions, we need to have a load
balancing mechanism that can switch over the traffic of one node to another upon a
failure. Further, we need to be able to persist the process instance data in a nonvolatile
storage for a failover. As discussed in the Scaling the process runtime section, jBPM
supports the persistence of runtime information in relational databases.
Most of the popular relational databases have inbuilt support for availability using
clustered storage. This can be utilized to make sure that the persisted process
instance data can be made highly available.
[ 262 ]
Chapter 9
Security or application security in this context refers to protecting the services and
data provided by jBPM from unauthorized access (authentication) and at the same
time ensuring that the users can access the set of services and data authorized for
them (authorization).
Another important perspective that we have to consider in a BPM system is
providing non-repudiation for all the user interactions. jBPM supports this by
providing an audit logging facility for all runtime data changes.
Non-repudiation assures that a user cannot deny performing an action or
operation in the system.
Securing the access of application assets
jBPM, usually deployed in an application server, uses a JEE-compatible standard,
that is, Java Authentication and Authorization Service (JAAS), for providing
application security. The application server provides this service and a mechanism
to register the users.
The default asset repository used to keep the application assets is the Git repository.
Further, a Git repository ensures that a change to a repository handled by it (be it an
addition of a file or a change of the file) is only allowed for an authorized person.
Authentication is done for the users logging in through the workbench, and for
making changes to the repository through Eclipse, the users have to use SSH.
The workbench user management supports the following roles:
• Admin: The role that has full access rights. The user who plays the role of
admin manages the BPMS.
• Analyst: The role that can do the modeling and is associated with a business
analyst for creating processes, rules, entities, forms, and so on.
• Developer: The role that carries the baton of the process artifacts from the
business analyst and develops fully executable code with back-end services
and handlers.
• Business user: The role that performs operation management by using task
management features. The person assigned to this role is the end user of the
application, who avails the functionality provided by the application.
• View only user: The role that can view the statistics of processes and their
performance and is the primary user of the statistics dashboard.
[ 263 ]
jBPM in Production
Taking the example of jBPM installed in the JBoss application server (now renamed
to WildFly), it provides utilities such as add-user to add the users and assign
their roles.
Securing the process runtime
The following subsections details the provisions for securing the process runtime,
that is, securing the operation management specific operations.
Access security specific to human tasks
The workbench allows only authorized people to access the process runtime
capabilities as discussed in the previous section. Apart from the process management
access, inside each process definition, each human task is assigned to a user or a
role (group).
In an environment using the whole jBPM suite of software, including the process
modeler, we can drive this by adding more roles or groups to the system by using
the application server capabilities. In an embedded mode, jBPM provides an
extension point for implementing an application-specific access security mechanism.
This extension can be done by implementing the org.kie.api.task.
UserGroupCallback interface and embedding the application-specific logic for
validating the authorization of the users to perform tasks. The specific method
that we need to implement for attaining this integration is as follows:
boolean existsUser(String userId)
This interface method is used for determining whether the user attached to a task is
valid. For integrating with our application, we can implement this method by using
the logic or service used for authentication.
boolean existsGroup(String groupId)
This interface method is used for resolving whether the group or role attached to a
task is valid.
List<String> getGroupsForUser(String userId,List<String> groupIds,
List<String> allExistingGroupIds)
This is used for resolving the groups (or roles) that are valid for a user.
[ 264 ]
Chapter 9
The userGroupCallback interface implementation can be attached to the process
runtime by using the HumanTaskService factory. The code snippet for doing this is
as follows:
UserGroupCallBack userGroupCallBack= new CustomUserGroupCallback();
TaskService taskService =
The advantage of this mechanism is that we are not constrained to the user
management functionality provided by jBPM but can develop our own. Further,
jBPM provides a set of pre-build userGroupCallBack functions that can be used
in production:
• org.jbpm.services.task.identity.LDAPUserGroupCallbackImpl, as the
name indicates, can be used for configuring it with your LDAP service.
• org.jbpm.services.task.identity.JAASUserGroupCallbackImpl, as
the name indicates, can be used for configuring it with your JAAS standardspecific user authentication mechanisms widely used in application
server environments. jBPM provides adapters for Oracle WebLogic, IBM
WebSphere, and JBoss application servers.
LDAP (which stands for Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) is an
open standard, widely used in small and medium organizations to share
user information between services and systems.
Audit logging
In business domains using a BPM, the process defines the business itself. Using
these processes, multiple systems and people in the organization interact with one
another. In any organization, disputes regarding actions done by people or systems
that drive these processes are common. From the perspective of application security,
these scenarios are solved using non-repudiation mechanisms, which assure that
no user or system can deny these actions. Audit logging is one of the widely used
non-repudiation mechanisms, in which every action performed on the system is
stored and is later used for resolving a dispute or analyzing the root cause of the
dispute. Another advantage is that we can use this data to analyze and find out the
performance and quality indicators of the business processes.
An audit log helps us to retrieve information about what happened to a process
instance, when it happened, and who triggered it.
[ 265 ]
jBPM in Production
jBPM provides a generic audit logging mechanism that comprehensively covers the
life cycle of a business process. The audit log is stored as three data models:
• Process instance log: Stores the data corresponding to interactions with the
process instance life cycle, for example, starting of a process instance, stopping
of a process instance, or aborting a process instance. Using the attributes of the
instance log, we can trace back the process definition, process version, process
instance, user identity, and so on, which are associated with a life cycle change.
• Node instance log: Stores the data corresponding to the life cycle of a node in
the process. A node refers usually to an activity in the business process. The
attributes of this data help us to trace back to the process definition, process
version, process instance, user identity, time, and workitem on which this
incident occurred.
• Variable instance log: Stores the data corresponding to the changes in
process variables in a process instance.
The following table lists the data available in the audit log data model:
Process instance log
Identity of the log table
Lifetime of the process instance when the incident
End date
Represents the time when the process instance ended,
applicable only if the process instance is stopped or
External ID
An external ID provided for the identification of a
process instance from the domain data
User identity
Identity of the user who initiated the process instance.
Outcome of the process information, primarily used to
store information such as error code, in case the process
stops due to an error event
instance ID
The identifier of the parent process instance
Process ID
Identifier of the process definition
instance ID
Unique identifier of the process instance
Name of the process definition
[ 266 ]
Chapter 9
Version of the process definition
Start date
Date on which the process instance was started
Integer value
Represents a live process instance
Represents a completed process instance
Represents an aborted process instance
Represents a suspended process instance
The preceding table provides the possible values of this
field and what they mean
Node instance log
Unique identifier
Identifier of the sequence flow that led to this node
Log date
Date at which the node was triggered
External ID
External identifier associated with the process instance
instance ID
Identifier of the node instance
Node name
Name of the node from the process definition
Node type
The type of node or activity, for example, service task
Process ID
Identifier of the process definition that this node is a
part of
Instance ID
Identifier of the process instance that this node is a part
Indicates whether the log was updated on entry or exit
Workitem ID
Identifier of the workitem that this node refers to
Variable instance log
Unique identifier
Log date
Time at which the change in this variable occurred
External ID
External identifier associated with the process instance
Old value
Previous value of the variable
Process ID
Process ID of the definition
[ 267 ]
jBPM in Production
instance ID
Process instance identifier
Current value of the variable
Variable ID
Identifier, variable name
instance ID
Additional information when a variable is defined on
the composite node level to distinguish between toplevel and embedded-level variables
Apart from its use for security, this log information can be analyzed to find out
various performance indicators of the process and the organization. The dashboard
builder can be used to build reports from these logs.
The maintainability of a system can be considered to be a measure to determine how
easily the repair actions can be performed. When we say repair, we need to discuss
the following:
• The ease of fixing issues in a deployed system (if any)
• Improvements in the system to match the changing business needs
• Coping with infrastructure changes in the deployment environment
In the system of our consideration, a BPM, changes in business logic are more
frequent. So, one of the main factors from a maintainability perspective is the ease
of improving the process executable. This is one area that jBPM excels in; as we
have already discussed in earlier chapters, jBPM provides a full-fledged modeling,
simulation, and deployment tooling environment. The actors, from this perspective,
business analysts and developers, can use the tooling to model, simulate, test, and
deploy the process changes.
Another aspect is the infrastructure or the environment in which jBPM is deployed
and maintained in production. jBPM supports multiple deployment architectures
as discussed in Chapter 8, Integrating jBPM with Enterprise Architecture, and by
default, it focuses on deployment in a JEE environment, where it is deployed
inside a JEE application container, with persistent data storage in a conventional
relational database.
[ 268 ]
Chapter 9
The architecture of the system is based on the following standards:
• Modeling based on BPMN
• Simulation based on BPsim
• Human tasks based on WS-HT
• Persistence based on JPA
• Transaction management based on JTA
The advantage is that jBPM easily fits into our current production environment, and
as the environment evolves, so does jBPM with its development community playing
an active role in enterprise middleware architecture. Compliance to the standards
and modularity of the system ensures that our client doesn't fall into a vendor lock-in
scenario, with parts of the system being easily replaceable.
In the previous chapters, we have already explained the "how" of the functionalities
discussed in this section.
Fault tolerance
Fault tolerance indicates the ability to operate in a predictive manner, when one
or more failures happen in the system. In Java-based applications, these faults are
managed using exception handling mechanisms. jBPM is no exception; it uses the
exception handling approach to be fault-tolerant.
Exception handling in process definitions
We can specify the occurrence and the handling mechanisms that happen in a
business process using BPMN elements, as follows:
• Error events can be used to specify the occurrence of an unexpected situation.
Compared to Java programming, this is similar to throwing an error.
• Compensation can be used to specify what to do when an error has occurred;
this is similar to the catch operation construct in a Java program.
The advantage of using exception handling at a process level is that the exception
scenarios are visible in the process, thus making the monitoring and analysis of these
scenarios easier, thereby contributing to continuous improvements of the process.
[ 269 ]
jBPM in Production
Exception handling for domain-specific
When we define new custom workitem handlers that form custom, business-specific
activities in a process, we can specify mechanisms to handle exception scenarios.
jBPM by default provides the following decorators for handling an exception
scenario in an activity:
• SignallingTaskHandlerDecorator: This decorator catches an exception
during the life cycle methods of an activity and signals the process instance
using a configurable event. These events can be caught in the process
definition, and subsequent actions can be taken. This decorator can be
specified while registering the workitem handler to a session.
For example:
String eventType = "Mail-Service-failed";
SignallingTaskHandlerDecorator signallingTaskWrapper = new
(MailServiceHandler.class, eventType); signallingTaskWrapper.
("Mail Task", signallingTaskWrapper);
In this example, we register a handler for sending mails by using
MailServiceHandler.class, and during exception scenarios, the
"Mail-Service-Failed" event is signaled to the process instance.
• LoggingTaskHandlerDcorator: This decorator catches the exceptions
during the life cycle methods of the activity of the logging mechanism. This
feature can be used in less critical areas where a process exception can just be
a warning in the log.
In this chapter, we discussed the non-functional characteristics of jBPM that are
critical in building a production-ready application based on BPM. Further, we
discussed sample deployment architectures that are possible with jBPM to meet
various requirements and configurations, and customization available to include
certain characteristics in the jBPM system.
[ 270 ]
The Future
As we reach the conclusion of Mastering jBPM6, traversing through the why, what,
and how of jBPM, it becomes obligatory to discuss what the future holds. Of course,
we are not foretellers, but when it comes to a technology that we use at the heart of
our enterprise architecture and evangelize, we need to understand the place of this
system in future computing.
The computing world is going through a brisk evolution, automation is the key and
Internet of Things (IoT) is at the door, revolutionizing the world as we know it. In
this short Appendix, we discuss the place of jBPM and the related technologies in
the future, by detailing the following trends in computing:
• Business programming
• Convergence of enterprise architectures
Business programming
Enterprise applications are driven by business needs. In other words, we program
these applications to satisfy certain business requirements. Further, in a traditional
software development life cycle, the requirements are communicated by the business
users to the software developers, who consolidate and convert them into executable
This conventional way of developing applications using programming languages has
already been superseded by business-level execution languages that talk business (or
use business-friendly jargon) such as BPEL. In the current arena, to improve usability
and maintainability, they are evolving into applications supporting visual businessoriented programming of which jBPM is a flag bearer.
[ 271 ]
The Future
"A picture is worth a thousand words"—this quote can explain why we need visual
programming. The objective is obviously to communicate effectively. No longer
is programming considered to be wizardry, programs and their logic are part of
business operation and should be easily available to people across the organization.
Further, we can confidently say that this is where programming is being led. The
users must be able to view how the operations are done, how decisions are made,
and what the impacts of a change are. jBPM modeling facilities are a huge leap into a
completely visual programming experience. Currently, the jBPM arsenal allows us to
model business processes and business rules. We can model data and user interfaces
through a limited but useful functionality, which minimizes the development and
deployment costs. We can also simulate a business process and see how it works
along with analyzing the related performance metrics.
Already trending are buzzwords such as IoT or computing everywhere, from the
perspective of BPM, these are activities in business operations. Visual programming
can help us to encapsulate the logic for communicating with these pervasive devices
and give the business, a picture of everyone connected to the process and everyone
operating it.
Convergence of enterprise architectures
for real-time and predictive analytics
Gone are the days when the IT infrastructure contained separate applications for
operations, analytics, and administration. Today's IT infrastructure needs enterprise
application suites that can deliver operations, analytics, and administration
together, and can collaborate to share information (in real-time), which makes their
functioning more efficient. For example, data from operations is used by analytics to
detect fraudulent operations, thereby making operations more secure. Further, the
future asks for more seamless interactions between these operations.
From a technical perspective, we can see these as a merger of multiple design
patterns. We can see systems that efficiently merge service-oriented architecture
(SOA) and event-driven architecture. For example, the LAMBDA architecture
merges batching, analytics, and service provisioning.
[ 272 ]
Appendix A
Such convergence can lead to more effective technologies such as predictive
analytics. A BPM-based system can be used to produce, consume events, and interact
with services. Thus, predictive analytics on these events is an obvious improvement.
Moreover, BPMs can be used to take action on the results (or decisions) obtained by
using these predictive analytic engines. This can have foreseeable applications in the
following domains:
• Fraud detection.
• Suggestive marketing.
• More resilient manufacturing automation, and so on.
The BLIP, that we have already discussed in Chapter 1, Business Process Modeling
– Bridging Business and Technology, is certainly moving to this goal. It provides a
way to integrate business logic spread across operations and enable them to work
collaboratively to achieve efficient business operations; jBPM is a vital part of BLIP.
[ 273 ]
jBPM BPMN Constructs
This Appendix is a quick reference for the BPMN constructs supported by jBPM.
For a complete BPMN 2.0 guide, please refer to the Object Management Group
specifications and guides available at http://www.bpmn.org. You can also refer to
Chapter 5, BPMN Constructs, in this book for an in-depth, sample-driven discussion
of jBPM constructs. For easy indexing and searching, this reference describes the
constructs as displayed and grouped within the KIE process definition editor.
A task represents an action that needs to be performed.
• BPMN element: <bpmn2:userTask>.
• Description: Task that requires a human interaction with a UI or a
programmed API.
• Configuration: Use Actors or Groups for assigning the task to the users.
Use the Assignments, DataInputSet, and DataOutputSet properties for
task parameter mapping to the enclosing process instance.
[ 275 ]
jBPM BPMN Constructs Reference
• BPMN element: <bpmn2:sendTask>
• Description: General-purpose task for a send message action
• Configuration: The MessageRef property is a key to the ID attribute
of a message element (bpmn2:message), which must be defined in the
process scope
It needs a custom WorkItemHandler to be registered with the send key.
• BPMN element: <bpmn2:receiveTask>
• Description: General-purpose task for a receive message action
• Configuration: The MessageRef property is a key to the ID attribute
of a message element (bpmn2:message), which must be defined in the
process scope
It needs a custom WorkItemHandler to be registered with the receive key.
[ 276 ]
Appendix B
• BPMN element: <bpmn2:manualTask>
• Description: Task whose purpose is oriented to documenting that an action
must be performed manually and that it can be ignored by the engine
• BPMN element: <bpmn2:serviceTask>.
• Description: Service task that supports a Java or SOAP WebService call.
• Configuration: Use the ServiceImplementation, ServiceInterface, and
ServiceOperation properties to configure the callable service/class. The
WebService implementation requires the WSDL URL to be imported in the
global scope (process imports).
Business rule
• BPMN element: <bpmn2:businessRuleTask>
• Description: Task that executes a Drool rule
• Configuration: Use the Ruleflow Group property to select the name of the
Rule Group that defines the set of rules that you need to execute
[ 277 ]
jBPM BPMN Constructs Reference
• BPMN element: <bpmn2:scriptTask>
• Description: Task that executes Java or MVEL scripts
• Configuration: Use the On Entry Actions, On Exit Actions, and Script
language properties
• BPMN element: <bpmn2:task>
• Description: Ad hoc task
• Configuration: You must register a WorkItemHandler with the task key
The subprocess represents a group of tasks which act together to perform a part of
the process.
• BPMN element: <bpmn2:callActivity>.
• Description: Lets you call a process whose definition resides outside the
current process.
[ 278 ]
Appendix B
• Configuration: Use CalledElement, Independent, and WaitForCompletion
to configure which existing process definition to call and how to call it:
as part of the calling process or as a new process instance (Independent),
in a synchronous or asynchronous fashion (WaitForCompletion). Use
Assignments, DataInputSet, and DataOutputSet to map variables
from/to the calling process.
Multiple instances
• BPMN element: <bpmn2:subProcess>
• Description: Lets you loop (create multiple instances of a group of elements)
• Configuration: Use CollectionExpression, Variable Definitions, and
Variable Name to configure the loop and assign the variable to pass inside
the loop
Ad hoc
• BPMN element: <bpmn2:adHocSubProcess>
• Description: Lets you define an unstructured subprocess definition
• Configuration: The AdHoc ordering attribute tells the engine to execute a
multi-instance subprocess in parallel or sequentially
[ 279 ]
jBPM BPMN Constructs Reference
• BPMN element: <bpmn2:subProcess>
• Description: Lets you define an embedded process definition (not reusable
from other process definitions)
• Configuration: Variable definitions lets you configure variables at the
subprocess scope
• BPMN element: <bpmn2:subProcess>
• Description: Lets you define an embedded subprocess that can be
triggered by a specific event (for example, Signal) and is executed
in an asynchronous fashion
• Configuration: No specific configuration required
Start events
• BPMN element: <bpmn2:startEvent> and a child element that defines the
event type as shown in the following image:
• Description: Acts as a process trigger and can only be a catching event.
[ 280 ]
Appendix B
The supported start events are as follows (see the preceding image, left to right):
• None
• Message: <bpmn2:messageEventDefinition>
• Timer: <bpmn2:timerEventDefinition>
• Escalation: <bpmn2:escalationEventDefinition>
• Conditional: <bpmn2:conditionalEventDefinition>
• Error: <bpmn2:errorEventDefinition>
• Compensation: <bpmn2:compensationEventDefinition>
• Signal: <bpmn2:signalEventDefinition>
End events
• BPMN element: <bpmn2:endEvent> and a child element that defines the
event type as shown in the following image:
• Description: Acts as a process trigger and can only be a throwing event.
The supported end events are as follows (see the preceding image, left to right):
• None
• Message
• Escalation
• Error
• Cancel: <bpmn2:cancelEventDefinition>
• Compensation
• Signal
• Terminate: <bpmn2:terminateEventDefinition>
[ 281 ]
jBPM BPMN Constructs Reference
Catching intermediate events
• BPMN element: <bpmn2:intermediateCatchEvent> and a child element
that defines the event type (see the previous events list)
• Description: Events that catch the triggering of a matching throwing event
The supported events are as follows (see the preceding image, left to right):
• Message: Can be a boundary event
• Timer: Can be a boundary event
• Escalation: Can be a boundary event
• Conditional: Can be a boundary event
• Error: Can be a boundary event
• Compensation: Can be a boundary event
• Signal: Can be a boundary event
Throwing intermediate events
• BPMN element: <bpmn2:intermediateThrowEvent>
• Description: Events that throw event triggering
The supported events are as follows (see the preceding image, left to right):
• Message
• Escalation
• Signal
[ 282 ]
Appendix B
Gateways control how the process flows.
Data-based exclusive (XOR)
• BPMN element: <bpmn2:exclusiveGateway>
• Description: Used to choose alternative sequence flows
Event-based gateway
• BPMN element: <bpmn2:eventBasedGateway>
• Description: Used to trigger sequence flows upon the occurrence
of some event
• BPMN element: <bpmn2:parallelGateway>
• Description: Used to create parallel sequence flows where all paths
are evaluated
[ 283 ]
jBPM BPMN Constructs Reference
• BPMN element: <bpmn2:inclusiveGateway>
• Description: Used for creating alternative flows where all paths are
Data objects
• BPMN element: <bpmn2:dataObject>
• Description: Data objects show the reader which data is required or
produced in an activity
Swimlanes represent grouping of process actors or roles with respect to the
process tasks.
• BPMN element: <bpmn2:lane>
• Description: Used for organizing activities within a group according to a
user or a user group
[ 284 ]
Appendix B
Artifacts are elements useful for documentation purposes.
• BPMN element: <bpmn2:group>
• Description: The group visually arranges different activities together; it does
not affect the flow in the diagram
• BPMN element: <bpmn2:annotation>
• Description: The annotation is used for giving the reader of the diagram an
understandable comment/description
[ 285 ]
ABORTED state 210
about 8, 153
call activity 164-166
data objects 170
lanes 169
multiple instances 168
subprocess 166
task 153
ad hoc (custom or none) task
about 162, 163
async task, configuring 163
Apache Helix
URL 254
application scaling
horizontal scaling 252
of business process modeling facility 252
of process runtime 254
vertical scaling 252
application security
about 263
application assets access, securing 263, 264
arbitrary cycle 20
about 7, 9, 285
annotation 285
group 9, 285
text annotation 9
asset management example, Git
about 89
assets, promoting 89
releasing 90
single project, building 90
asset management, Git
about 86
example 89
governance process definitions 92
governance workflow 87
managed repository 87-91
Maven 91
multi-module repository, creating 87, 88
versioning history 91
associations 9
asynchronous commands execution
managing 110
audit and history logs
about 200
AuditLoggerFactory 201
custom logger 202, 203
about 201
JMS 201
JPA 201
audit logging
about 265
node instance log 266, 267
process instance log 266
variable instance log 266, 267
about 260
continuous improvements, in processes 262
of process runtime 262
to workbench 261
about 4, 5, 113
and BPM 114, 115
[ 287 ]
audit data, generating 117, 118
audit service, tips 115
business query, writing 118
data provider, adding 119
default history logs 115, 116
examples 114
KPI panels 120, 121
new dashboard page, creating 120, 121
notes 122
ProcessBAM unit test 117, 118
URL 113
using, with Dashbuilder 116
with BPM 13
Bean Managed Transactions (BMT) 203
using, for local transaction 204
about 24
Business Processes 25
Business Rule 25
Drools Expert 26
Drools Fusion 26
Drools Guvnor 26
Event Stream Processing 25
features 24
boundary events 137
build process, for managed repository
Build & Deploy 91
Build & Install 90
Business Activity Monitoring. See BAM
Business Logic Integration Platform.
business process deployment
knowledge base, creating 46
runtime engine, creating 47
runtime manager, creating 46
starting 47
Business Process Diagram (BPD) 6
Business Process Execution Language
(BPEL) 6
Business Process Management (BPM)
about 2, 3
banking 13
financial services 13
supply chain management 11, 12
usage 10, 11
Business Process Management
System (BPMS) 2
Business Process Model and Notation
about 6
conformance 7
core elements 7
versus BPEL 6
business process modeling
design patterns 14
facility, scaling 252-254
business process simulation 5
Business Process Simulation Interchange
Standard (BPSim) 6
business programming 271, 272
business solution tools
integrating 27, 28
CommandExecutor interface
about 192, 193
bath execution 193, 194
Drools Rules 192
Process/Task 192
Runtime 192
about 148
activity 149
Boundary Compensation event 149
Intermediate Compensation event 149
triggering, with signals 150
Complex Event Processing (CEP) 114
complex gateway 135
conditional branching
about 130
complex gateway 135
Drools 131
event-based gateway 133, 134
exclusive (XOR) gateway 131
inclusive (OR) gateway 132, 133
conformance, BPMN
BPEL process execution conformance 7
[ 288 ]
Choreography modeling conformance 7
process execution conformance 7
process modeling conformance 7
conformance classes, BPMN
choreography modeling conformance 125
process execution conformance 125
process modeling conformance 125
connecting objects
about 7-9
associations 9
message flows 9
sequence flow 9
Container Managed Transactions
(CMT) 203
setting 232
Contexts and Dependency
Injection (CDI) 23
Continuous Integration (CI) 182
core elements, BPMN
artifacts 7
connecting objects 7
data 7
flow objects 7
swimlanes 7
core engine 23
custom process nodes
about 207
PizzaTweet example 215
service repository 220
custom workitem handlers
creating 236
about 116
and BAM 116
example projects 117
persistence, configuring 117
URL 116
data, BPMN
about 7, 8
data input 8
data object 8
data output 8
data store 8
data objects 170, 284
DBUserGroupCallbackImpl class,
db.ds.jndi.name 224
db.roles.query 224
db.user.query 224
db.user.roles.query 224
Decision Support System (DSS) 114
default flow 130
deferred choice pattern 18, 19
deployed process definitions
updating 48
design patterns, business process modeling
about 14
deferred choice 18, 19
exclusive choice 16, 17
implicit termination 17, 18
multiple instance, without
synchronization 19
parallel split 15
sequence 14
simple merge 16
synchronization 15, 16
synchronized merge 19
diamond shaped connector 128
Done Script task 130
Drools Expert 26
Drools Fusion
about 26
features 27
Drools Guvnor
about 26
features 26
URL 171
Drools Rule Language (DRL) 26
used, for creating jBPM project 43-45
Eclipse-based tooling
about 74
changes, saving to knowledge
repository 78
data object modeling 76
form modeling 77
[ 289 ]
process modeling 76
process simulation 78
used, for modeling business process 43
Eclipse tooling
about 23
features 23
local interface 236, 237
remote interface 236, 237
end compensation event
about 151, 152
multi-instance compensation 152
End events
about 137
None End event 137
Terminate End event 137
enterprise architectures
convergence, for predictive
analytics 272, 273
convergence, for real-time
analytics 272, 273
Enterprise JavaBeans. See EJB
Entity Manager (EM) 205
entry points 127
error events
about 145
Boundary Error event 145-147
compensation 148
Error End event 147, 148
Error Start event 147
escalation event 152
event-based gateway
about 133, 134
instantiating gateway 134, 135
event listeners, KIE session
agenda 194
process 194
rule 194
about 7, 135
boundary events 137
catching category 135
categorizing, criteria 136
compensation 148
conditional events 153
end compensation event 151, 152
End events 137
error events 145
escalation 152
message events 140, 141
signal events 138
start event 136
throwing category 135
Timer events 144
exclusive choice pattern 16, 17
exclusive (XOR) gateway 131
Extended Architecture (XA) 204
factors, process runtime scaling
number of processes/process
instances 254, 255
number of timer events 258-260
number of user interactions 255, 256
runtime manager, flavors 256, 257
task service 258
fault tolerance
about 269
domain-specific processes, exception
handling 270
process definitions, exception handling 269
financial services
with BPM 13
flow objects
about 7
activities 8
events 7
gateways 8
fluent API 244
form modeling, web-based tooling
about 62
default value, setting 65
field properties, setting 64
field values, inferring 66
form, creating 62, 63
multiple subforms 67, 68
subforms 66
FreeMarker templates
URL 77
[ 290 ]
gateway direction property
converging 129
diverging 129
mixed 129
unspecified 129
about 8, 129, 283
concepts 129
conditional branching 130
data-based exclusive (XOR) 283
direction property, defining 129
event-based gateway 283
inclusive 284
parallel (AND) gateway 130
parallel 283
getKieClasspathContainer() function 173
assets, managing 86
changes, making 84
committing 84
KIE workbench project editor 93
new repository 86
overview 82
pushing, to remote repository 85
remote repository, cloning 83
working with 82
globals, KieSession 126, 191, 192
governance workflow
about 87
asset promotion 87
project build 87
release 87
repository creation or configuration 87
group, artifacts 9
GroupId-ArtifactId-Version (GAV) 173
URL 31
Human Interaction Management (HIM)
about 3, 4
automatic activities 3
manual activities 3
human task activities, roles
actual owner 154
business administrator 154
excluded owners 154
potential owners 154
task initiator 154
human task service
about 196
admin service 198
attachment service 198
CommandService 196
content service 198
deadline service 198
DefaultUserInfo instance 196
EntityManagerFactory instance 196
instance service 198
interceptors 198
LocalTaskServiceFactor 196
notification service 198, 199
query service 198
register task event listeners 196
TaskCommand 197
TaskContext 197
TaskDeadlinesService 196
TaskFluent class 199, 200
transactions 198
UserGroupCallback 196, 197
implicit termination pattern 17, 18
inclusive (OR) gateway 133
interface methods, workitem handler
close() 210
close() 210
intermediate events
catching 282
throwing 282
Internet of Things (IoT) 271
Java Authentication and Authorization
Service (JAAS) 263
Java Content Repository (JCR) 98
Java Message Service (JMS) 23
Java Naming and Directory
Interface (JNDI) 198
[ 291 ]
JAX-WS service
about 240
client 240
process definition 241
service task handler 241
WebServiceWorkItemHandler class 241
about 3, 21, 125
as remote service 242
availability 260
BPMN notable features 126
core engine 23
Eclipse tooling 23
facts 127
fault tolerance 269
globals 126
identity management 222
integrating, in EDA environment 238
integrating, in SOA environment 238
integrating, with REST services 238
KIE workbench 22
knowledge repository 24
maintainability 268
parameters 126
scalability 252
security 263
serialization 225
services 232
URL 29
variables 126
web-based tooling 52
jBPM, as remote service
about 242
jBPM ships 242
remote Java API 244
REST API, functionalities 243
SOAP API 248, 249
source code download, URL 242
transactions 249
jBPM audit service module
JMS 114
JPA 114
jBPM identity management
about 222
user callback configuration 223, 224
jBPM integration, with REST services
about 238, 239
REST handler configuration 239, 240
REST server 239
jBPM JMS service, client
JMS client implementation 247, 248
server JMS configuration 245-247
jBPM project
building 40, 41
Business Process Modeling 38-40
creating 34-37
deploying 40, 41
first process, running 41, 42
jBPM serialization
about 225
marshalling 225, 226
marshalling strategy, configuring 227, 228
persisting variables 229, 230
strategies 226, 227
jBPM tool stack
installation, customizing 33
installing 29-32
supported databases 32
jBPM tool stack installation
customizing 33
database schema, manual installation 33
database vendor, modifying 33
integrating with 236
creating 110, 111
launching 111
managing 110, 111
scheduling 110, 111
about 171, 172
builder API 176
KieContainer 173-175
KieLoggers 183-185
KieScanner 181, 182
KieServices 172
KieStoreServices 185
repositories 180
[ 292 ]
scanner 180
URL 172
KIE API services
KieBuilder 172
KieContainer 172
KieLoggers 172
KieMarshallers 172
KieRepository 172
KieResources 172
KieScanner 172
KieStoreServices 172
inclusion 175
multiple definitions 175
KIE builder API
about 176
KieBuilder 178, 180
KieModule 178
KieResources 177
kie-config-cli tool
changes, pushing to system.git 96
connecting (online mode) 94
jBPM console users, adding 95
offline mode 93
online (default and recommended)
mode 93
organizational unit, creating 94
overview 93, 94
repository, adding to organization 96
repository, creating 95
role-based access control rules,
defining 95
system.git repository 96, 97
URL 93
URL, from JBoss snapshot Maven 93
KieBase(s) 173-176
KIE module 173-176
KIE deployments
about 98, 99
artifacts 100
KIE module, adding manually 106
KIE modules 100
options 100
process instances, managing 107
process instance, starting 107
task management 109
undeployment action 107
user management 108
KIE deployments, options
about 100, 101
artifacts, providing 104
dependency, deploying 103
deploying 104-106
Git and project configuration 102, 103
pizzas, deploying 102
process definition (pizzadelivery) 101
KIE workbench
about 22
operation management 23
overview 82
Process Designer 22
repositories, URL 220
about 183
console based logger 183, 184
file based logger 183
KieScanner 181
KieScannerTest class
method 182
testScannerUpdateNewSession method 182
KieServices 172
about 190, 191
channels 195
CommandExecutor interface 192
event listeners 194
globals 191
JTA session 190
stateless KieSession 191
KieStoreServices 185
Knowledge Is Everything (KIE) 46
knowledge repository 24
about 169
in swimlanes 9
[ 293 ]
maintainability, system 268, 269
about 225
persisting variables 226
overview 82
URL 92
message events
about 140, 141
Boundary Message event 142
End Message event 143
Intermediate Message event 142
jBPM throwing message
implementation 143
Start Message event 141
message flows 9
Mode parameter
Asynchronous (ASYNC) 159
Oneway 159
Synchronous (SYNC) 159
multiple instance, without
synchronization 19
MVEL reference
URL 158
Object Management Group (OMG) 6
One-Time Password (OTP) activity 5
operation management 23
parallel (AND) gateway 130
parallel split pattern 15
parameters 126
and transaction 203
PizzaTweet example
about 215
console test run 218, 219
custom service repository 221, 222
handler project (pizzahandlers) 217
IDE customization 217, 218
main project 215
model project (pizzamodel) 217
process 216
service repository 220, 221
standalone test run 219, 220
task parameter mappings 216
Plain Old Java Object (POJO) 76
pool, swimlanes 9
probability distributions
URL 71
process definition
conversion 112
instance upgrading 112
versioning 112, 113
Process Designer 22
process-level simulation properties
baseCurrencyUnit 70
baseTimeunit 70
process migration strategies, jBPM
abort 48
proceed 48
transfer 48
process modeling, web-based tooling
about 52, 53
Metadata tab 59
Object Library 53, 54
problem visualization 58
process canvas 54-56
properties editor 56, 57
toolbar 57
process runtime
access security, specific to human tasks 264
audit logging 265-267
availability 262
securing 264
process runtime, scaling
about 254
considerations 254
factors 254
process simulation parameters, web-based
about 70
flow element parameters 71
process-level simulation properties 70
task-level parameters 71
process simulation results
about 73
activity instances 73
[ 294 ]
execution times results 73
path simulation results 73
process element-wise simulation results 73
total cost 73
process simulation, web-based tooling
about 68
parameters 70
paths 69
results 72, 73
running 72
Quality Assurance (QA) 5
URL 258
Red Hat Uberfire framework
URL 94
release label 87
remote Java API
about 244
dependencies 244
jBPM JMS service, client 245
REST client 244
Representational State Transfer (REST) 23
role-based access control (RBAC) 81
runtime context, runtime manager
CorrelationKeyContext 190
EmptyContext 190
ProcessInstanceIdContext 190
runtime manager
about 186, 187
and engine 186
runtime context 190
RuntimeEnvironment class 188
runtime strategy 187
scheduler service 187
timerService 187
runtime manager, flavors
per process instance strategy 257
per request strategy 257
singleton strategy 256, 257
runtime strategy, runtime manager
PerProcessInstance 187
PerRequest 187
selecting 188
singleton 187
scalability 252
Script task
properties 158
send alert script 134
Send Task 162
sequence flow 9, 128, 129
sequence pattern 14
service-oriented architecture (SOA) 272
services, jBPM
about 232
definition service 233
deployment service 233
org.jbpm.services.api.DefinitionService 233
org.jbpm.services.api.ProcessService 234
org.jbpm.services.api.UserTaskService 234
process service 233
runtime data service 233
user task service 233
service task
about 160
Mode parameter 159
parameters 159
signal events
about 138
Boundary Signal event 140
End Signal event 140
Intermediate Signal event 140
scope 138
signal data mapping 139
signal ID 138
signal name tips 138
Start Signal event 139, 140
simple merge pattern 16
SOA and EDA environments
jBPM, integrating with 236
SOAP WebService
about 240
JAX-WS service 240
[ 295 ]
standalone Java application
automated test cases, writing 47, 48
business process, deploying 46
business process, modeling 43
jBPM, embedding 43
jBPM project, creating with Eclipse 43-45
process, deploying 46, 47
start event
about 136, 280, 281
None Start event 136
about 166, 278
ad hoc 279
ad hoc subprocess 166, 167
configuration 279
constraints 166
embedded 280
event 280
multiple instances 279
reusable 278
supply chain management
customers 11
distributors 11
manufacturers 11
processes 11
retailers 11
suppliers 11
with BPM 11, 12
about 7-9
lanes 9, 284
pool 9
synchronization pattern 15, 16
synchronized merge pattern
about 19
arbitrary cycle 20
script 278
send 276
Send/Receive tasks 161, 162
service task 159, 160, 277
state transitions, URL 155
user task 154, 275
TaskCommand specializations
CancelDeadlineCommand 197
StartTaskCommand 197
TaskFluent class 199, 200
TASKID column 116
task-level simulation properties
distributionType 71
normal distribution 71
Poison distribution 71
staffAvailability 71
uniform distribution 71
unitCost 71
workingHours 71
text annotation 9
Timer events
Boundary Timer event 145
Intermediate Timer event 145
Start Timer event 144
Timer events, properties
Time Duration 144
Timer Cycle 144
Timer Cycle Language 144
local transaction, with Bitronix 204, 205
locking mechanism 205
managing 205
Twitter handler implementation
URL 215
about 22
URL 22
Unified Modeling Language (UML) 6
user callback configuration
about 223, 224
DBUserGroupCallbackImpl class 224
class 224, 225
about 153, 275
ad hoc (custom or none) task 162, 163
business rule 277
manual task 162, 277
none 278
receive 276
Rule tasks 160, 161
[ 296 ]
user task
about 154
deadlines and escalations 155
delegation 157
human roles 154
notifications 156
release 158
skip 157, 158
state transitions 154
suspend/resume 157
task forwarding 157
task reassignment 156
variables 126
Virtual File System (VFS) 253
web-based tooling
about 52
data object modeling 59, 60
form modeling 62
process modeling 52
process simulation 68
used, for importing project 74, 75
WildFly messaging
URL 247
workbench user management, roles
admin 263
analyst 263
business user 263
developer 263
view only user 263
about 208, 209
life cycle 209
workitem handler
about 207
abortWorkItem method 210
cacheable 210
closeable interfaces 210
code implementation and runtime
registration 211
declarative kmodule.xml handler
configuration 211
designer customization 211
direct handler registration 211
executeWorkItem method 209
handler configuration file 212, 213
handler definition file 213
workitem handler implementation
about 214
input parameters, handling 214
results, returning to process 214
URL 65
[ 297 ]
Thank you for buying
Mastering jBPM6
About Packt Publishing
Packt, pronounced 'packed', published its first book, Mastering phpMyAdmin for Effective
MySQL Management, in April 2004, and subsequently continued to specialize in publishing
highly focused books on specific technologies and solutions.
Our books and publications share the experiences of your fellow IT professionals in adapting
and customizing today's systems, applications, and frameworks. Our solution-based books
give you the knowledge and power to customize the software and technologies you're using
to get the job done. Packt books are more specific and less general than the IT books you have
seen in the past. Our unique business model allows us to bring you more focused information,
giving you more of what you need to know, and less of what you don't.
Packt is a modern yet unique publishing company that focuses on producing quality,
cutting-edge books for communities of developers, administrators, and newbies alike.
For more information, please visit our website at www.packtpub.com.
About Packt Open Source
In 2010, Packt launched two new brands, Packt Open Source and Packt Enterprise, in order
to continue its focus on specialization. This book is part of the Packt Open Source brand,
home to books published on software built around open source licenses, and offering
information to anybody from advanced developers to budding web designers. The Open
Source brand also runs Packt's Open Source Royalty Scheme, by which Packt gives a royalty
to each open source project about whose software a book is sold.
Writing for Packt
We welcome all inquiries from people who are interested in authoring. Book proposals should
be sent to author@packtpub.com. If your book idea is still at an early stage and you would
like to discuss it first before writing a formal book proposal, then please contact us; one of our
commissioning editors will get in touch with you.
We're not just looking for published authors; if you have strong technical skills but no writing
experience, our experienced editors can help you develop a writing career, or simply get some
additional reward for your expertise.
jBPM6 Developer Guide
ISBN: 978-1-78328-661-4
Paperback: 310 pages
Learn about the components, tooling, and integration
points that are part of the JBoss Business Process
Management (BPM) framework
Model and implement different business
processes using the BPMN2 standard notation.
Understand how and when to use the different
tools provided by the JBoss Business Process
Management (BPM) platform.
Learn how to model complex business
scenarios and environments through
a step-by-step approach.
Activiti 5.x Business Process
Management Beginner's Guide
ISBN: 978-1-84951-706-5
Paperback: 276 pages
A practical guide to designing and developing
BPMN-based business processes
Detailed coverage of the various BPM notations
used for business process development.
Learn how to implement business processes
based on real world examples.
Understand how to deploy workflows using
process engine APIs.
Create Advance workflows using BPM
Please check www.PacktPub.com for information on our titles
Instant Oracle BPM for Financial
Services How-to
ISBN: 978-1-78217-014-3
Paperback: 62 pages
Discover how to leverage BPM in the financial sector
Learn something new in an Instant! A short,
fast, focused guide delivering immediate
Simplifies complex business problems for
financial services.
Optimize, enhance, and modify your business
Includes enterprise architecture best practices.
JBoss EAP Configuration,
Deployment, and Administration
ISBN: 978-1-78216-248-3
Duration: 02:08 hours
Detailed demonstrations to help you harness one of
the world's top open source JEE projects
Learn about everything from installation,
configuration, and debugging to securing
Java EE applications — ideal for JBoss
application developers.
In-depth explanations of JBoss EAP features,
and diagrams to help explain JBoss and
Java internals.
Covers everything from JBoss EAP essentials
to more advanced topics through easy-tounderstand practical demonstrations.
Please check www.PacktPub.com for information on our titles
Download PDF